Adopting a Child for Your Child: Right or Wrong?

PArents Blog JPG Sibling Lisa PostMy husband is neatly clipping magazine spreads of bouncy bow-haired Asian toddlers. Seems he has his heart set on a little girl, a baby. But we briefly talked to two other parents about their excruciating long waits for Chinese newborns. I don’t want to wait years to adopt kid number 2.

I am definitely considering adoption in a firmer way this month because I had one recurring, horrid thought: What happens if our only child Sam, dies?

Any way to recover? You’ve considered it, right? The only reason I might force myself to carry on in a universe without Sam Straff is through caring for another child.  But that’s a selfish reason to adopt, isn’t it?

More importantly, what if Darrin and I perish in a fiery blaze off the Pacific Coast Highway during especially obnoxious rush hour? Who would lead Sam through devastation? Friends and family would step in to supply Sam with a home and clean clothes…

… but who could heal my baby’s heart?

Today, I cannot imagine living my own past without my own sister, Lisa.  She’s 11 months younger than me and for all the years I grew up I never had a notion of being without her. For years, we have spoken in a sibling shorthand that nothing can replace. My sister, who holds Long Distance Aunt status, helps me write my own history. Helps me jump over life hurdles, and giggle with me when I finally fall flat on my face. She also shoots from the hip and tells me when I’m off base.

My younger sister Lisa remembers things I simply cannot;  she fills in my blanks. That sibling relationship is a gift worth giving to my son, whether or not we finally choose to adopt internationally.

Weigh in: Is adopting a child for your own existing child a very selfish reason to adopt? What do you think is the best reason to adopt a child from another country or even right here in the USA?

Caption: Aunt Lisa with Sam Straff, 5 months

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff
  1. by Danielle

    On June 17, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I think that adopting a child for you child is a foolish reason. If you were adopting because you want to make an existing childs life better, that’s a reason. There are many children in this world that don’t have loving parents who can guide, nurture and provide them with the necessities of life. Adopting internationally is a great idea if your main goal or reason is to better help a child in need. I am certainly not going to have another child or adopt a child just because my I have a son and he needs someone. I think that would diminish the bond or feelings toward that child. Another thing to think about is how would that child feel if they were to somehow find out that was the reason. they would be devastated, finding out they were only adopted because you were afraid to find out what would happen if you lost your child. What a joke!

  2. by TXMomma

    On June 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I don’t see what’s do wrong with it because aren’t these the same reasons why some people have more than on child? A pastor’s wife I once said she was glad they had had six children. They lost one at 13 and one at 20. She said what if we’d only had two? We wouldn’t have any children or grandchildren. If you want the child for your first child and are excited about having another one of there’s some fear behind the motivation I think it’s perfectly normal.

  3. by Annie

    On June 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    It seems weird to me to adopt a child (or have another one) just in case one dies. Can you ever get over the death of a child? I am not sure that simply having another one around to “replace” the lost child will help. And the child who is “left” will certainly have emotional issues, too, if they sense that. It seems selfish and odd that the pastor was worried that he wouldn’t have any grandchildren.

  4. by Laz Bello

    On June 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    What are the reasons people give birth to a second child…many times its for very selfish reasons and most always because “they don’t want their baby to be an only child.” I always say adoption is the highest form of parenting cuz its loving someone that isn’t part of your genetic DNA…but part of your life DNA. Go, do and change your whole family’s life…for the better!

  5. by Diana`

    On June 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    It makes sense to me. I don’t want my daughter to be alone in this world without a sibling… and so yes, I would adopt for her to have that sibling bond that I have with my sisters.

  6. by Dana

    On July 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    As an adoption professional it makes me cringe when people say they want a sibling, or worse, a playmate for their child. The adoption of a child has to be about wanting to change that child’s life. Sure, of course you HAVE to take your current child into consideration…but whether or not they get along or all of your dreams come true…your committment has to be strong to all of your children…adopted or not!

  7. by Jane

    On March 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I’m with you. I have the same thought on my mind. I think you have all the good and valid reasons: your fear of losing your child (that’s an indication of deep love for him/her); your love for your child to grow up with sibling love and not to feel alone; your wish for the 2nd child(I’m thinking about adopting from an ophanage) to have a loving family to grow up in.

  8. by Allison

    On March 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Stop trying to prepare for everything. You can’t replace a child with another child should they die, you will only use the other child as a distraction. Also, the only reason to adopt should be because you want to love and raise another child, not to treat them as an accessory. You may not have meant to make it sound this way, but your post made it sound like the adopted child had no value on their own…just someone for your baby, and that’s not fair.

  9. by Allison

    On March 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I also wanted to add that, while you have a truly blessed relationship with your sister, it does not mean that your child would have one with their sibling. You can’t change personalities, and while you can make siblings respect each other, you can never make them love each other the way you and your sister do. That is a choice, one you can’t make for them.

    One of my oldest friends is a very well adjusted only child, and never felt the least bit like something was missing in her life from not having a brother or sister. What you want for your child is to be loved, and to have a “safe place to land” should they find themselves going through life without you….you want them to be loved unconditionally, and to have someone they can trust…that can indeed come from a blood relative, but is not always the case. I promise you they can have that, whether they have a sibling or not.

  10. by Andrea

    On March 29, 2012 at 11:10 am

    the only thing I can say is oh my gosh I thought I was the only adoptive mother in the world who thought about adoption #2 in case my daughter died. Thanks for writing that line. Whether it’s a selfish or pragmatic reason to have another child, I’m just glad I’m not the only mother in the world who has had this morbid thought…