What are some disadvantages of adoption

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Goal of an adoption

Every couple has their own reasons why they want to adopt a child. Basically, however, adoption aims to find a new family for a child who cannot grow up in his own family. The aim of adoption is not primarily that childless couples find a child.

If the motivation for an adoption is unclear, serious disappointments can ensue. It is not uncommon for the child to have expectations that it cannot meet. During the long waiting time for a child of their own and later for a child who can be adopted, a wishful idea of ​​a dream child is often built up.

However, the reality is different. As with biological children, parents of adopted children are challenged - and often disappointed. You have to learn to accept the non-biological child for who it is. Parents cannot expect ongoing gratitude.

Patience, humor and empathy help to cope with the special family situation. If you succeed in establishing an open and warm-hearted relationship, nothing stands in the way of a harmonious and lively family life.

The adoption agencies of the youth welfare offices, the state youth welfare offices and other recognized organizations are responsible for the adoption placement.

We want to adopt a child ...

The reasons for wanting to adopt a child can be very diverse.

Many couples are unintentionally childless. You have to learn to accept and process this fact. This process is usually accompanied by feelings of frustration and sadness.

It is not uncommon for an ideal conception of the "ideal family" to develop, which is presumably not feasible even with biological children. If the adopted child does not meet these expectations, problems can arise.

The hope that a possibly crumbling marriage will be saved by a child is also deceptive. The demands on both partners are too great. Incidentally, it does not matter here whether the child who is supposed to give the relationship new impetus is natural or adopted.

It becomes very difficult if only one of the partners wants a child.

If parents have lost a child through death, the adopted child may be asked to take their place. But first the loss has to be overcome. And that takes time.

The couple should take enough time to discuss this. Exchanging ideas with relatives, friends, other adoptive parents or self-help groups can also be of great help. The specialists at the adoption agencies provide assistance.

The decision to adopt a child is a far-reaching and responsible task. For its success - in the interests of the child and also of the parents - all motives must be revealed.

The adopted child

An adopted child has already lost parents. That is why you need a lot of security and affection.

The child does not need to be overwhelmed with gifts, excessive caring, or pity.

Sensitivity, an open ear and patience are necessary so that the child can develop trust.

An older child will initially miss their previous environment and the people they know. It takes time to develop security and trust in the new family.

In the beginning, the child is often very calm or inhibited. It is secretly afraid of losing its new parents again.

With increasing certainty in the relationship, this adapted behavior often changes into provocation or rejection. Since adopted children have often been disappointed and have a deep distrust of new bonds, this aggressive behavior is an unconscious attempt to find out whether the new relationships are sustainable.

In addition, there can be strong fluctuations in the needs for proximity and distance. Many children have a lot of catching up to do with early childhood experiences. You need tenderness, closeness, skin contact ... This can lead to fluctuations between infant behavior and age-appropriate behavior.

Some older children have problems at school due to difficulty concentrating and lagging behind in language development. They need special patience and help.

The difficulties in getting used to it will decrease over time when the adoptive child feels safe and secure in the new family.

The adoption of minors is a task of youth welfare. You can find contact persons in your responsible youth welfare office.

The adoptive parents

The best interests of the child are at the forefront of the adoption agency's considerations. The family should be selected that best suits the needs of the child.

If the child is taken in by a couple, the adoption is usually only possible jointly.

Step-parent adoption is not uncommon

A step-parent can adopt his or her partner's child. Then both are legally the parents.

If the partners are not married, only one of the partners can adopt the child. This also applies to registered partnerships.

Requirements for adoption

Future adoptive parents must meet certain requirements. Among other things, you should enjoy good physical and mental health, be able to offer the child a stable family background and be financially secure. The couple's partnership must have proven itself. This means that the relationship is expected to last for a certain period of time.

Since puberty is considered a rather difficult phase for everyone involved, parents should still have enough energy, patience and nerve power at this age of their child. For this reason, babies and toddlers are usually not placed with couples who are older than 40 years.

The lower age limit is stipulated by law that married couples wishing to adopt may not be younger than 21 or 25 years of age. Single people who want to adopt a child must be at least 25 years old.

When placing a small child, the adoption office expects one of the parents to give up work for some time. For older adoptive children who are attending kindergarten or school, it is sufficient to restrict their work time. Nevertheless, even with an older child, sufficient time should be allowed to build relationships so that they can experience the necessary stability within the new family.

There are far more applicants than children. Therefore, the fact that parents have not been placed with a child for a long period of time does not necessarily mean that the placement agency has concerns about suitability.

Parents who are willing to adopt have the right to be informed by the placement office why they cannot find a child and what prospects are emerging.

The birth parents

Infants and young children are predominantly put up for adoption by parents who are unable to care for them. Reasons for this can be: young age, lack of support from the other parent, housing shortage, unemployment ...

The decision to put the child up for adoption is a responsible one. Nonetheless, it is extremely painful and often depresses parents - especially mothers - for a lifetime.

The birth parents can rely on the adoption agency to place their child in a suitable, caring family.

In principle, both birth parents must consent to the adoption. When you consent to adoption, you will find out who will adopt your child, even if you do not necessarily need to know the name and address of the adoptive parents. You also have the right to determine the denominational upbringing of your child. The exchange is bound by it.

Read our article on adoption - transferring mothers / fathers.

The adoption care period

Adoption law provides for a longer period of getting to know each other, the so-called adoption care period.

It begins on the day on which the adoptive child is accepted into the household of the future adoptive parents and ends with the legal conclusion of the adoption procedure by the decision of the guardianship court. As a rule, the adoption care period lasts at least twelve months.

The parental rights and obligations of the birth parents are suspended when the notarial declaration of consent is given.

The adoptive parents are obliged to provide the child with maintenance. There is no entitlement to state care allowance benefits.

The legal representation of the child during the adoption care period usually lies with the youth welfare office.

During this time, adoptive parents have the right to be advised and looked after by the placement office in all matters relating to the child.

The adoption decision

The adoption process ends in the decision of the Guardianship Court. It also makes the child a full member of the family in legal terms. The legal relationships with biological parents and other relatives expire. The child receives the family name of the adoptive family.

The first name can only be changed if this is necessary for serious reasons for the best interests of the child. Because it is an important part of its history and identity.

In addition to other documents, the adoptive parents receive a new birth certificate for the child, in which they are listed as biological parents.

What is a semi-open or an open adoption?

Even with a half-open or open adoption, the adoptive parents have full parental rights. However, there are contacts with the birth parents, which can vary greatly in intensity.

The adoptive parents have the right to anonymity (“incognito”) vis-à-vis their birth parents. The spectrum of an open adoption ranges from maintaining incognito to intensive contact with the birth parents.

Half-open adoption is when

  • the birth parents are included in the selection of the adoptive parents,
  • the birth parents and adoptive parents meet once (for example when the child is handed over),
  • the birth parents and adoptive parents are informed about the respective living conditions via the adoption agency (possibly while preserving incognito),
  • Letters, photos or the like are regularly exchanged between birth parents and adoptive parents. This can be done directly or through the adoption agency (while maintaining the anonymity of the adoptive parents).

In the case of open adoption, there is ongoing personal contact between birth parents and adoptive parents.

Both forms of adoption have advantages and disadvantages for everyone involved.

Adoptive parents who are considering whether to establish contact with their birth parents can get support in this decision from the adoption agency of the youth welfare office.

The Financial Consequences of Adoption

If the parents have given their consent, the child is not automatically insured with them when they join the adoptive parents' household. The changed family circumstances must be reported to the health insurance company.

  • Child benefit or benefits similar to child benefit are already paid to the future adoptive parents during the adoption care period.
  • The regulations of the Federal Education Allowance Act also apply to adoptive parents.
  • You can ask your pension insurance provider about the crediting of the times spent bringing up children in relation to the pension. (Family finances / state aid)

When the child is accepted into the family household, the adoptive parents assume the duty of supervision. It is therefore recommended to take out liability insurance.

You can inquire about all tax implications from your tax office.

In our article on the duty of supervision of children and adolescents, you can read what parents have to consider and who is liable if something happens?

International adoptions

The number of applicants for adoption far exceeds the number of suitable children. The waiting times are long.

Many couples see an international adoption as an opportunity to fulfill their desire to have children or see the admission of a foreign child as an opportunity to secure a good future for a child who may be disadvantaged in their country of origin.

But even with international adoptions, the number of applications is higher than that of children who are eligible for international adoption, since placement abroad is not the best way for every child to ensure their long-term well-being.

The adoption of a child from abroad places high demands on the future parents. Often very little information is available on the child's history, origin and health situation. The upbringing situation can also be burdened by uprooting the child.

Therefore, an international adoption should be carefully considered.
In contrast to domestic adoption, the process itself is also associated with not inconsiderable hurdles. In addition to the requirements within Germany (age, suitability for adoption), the requirements of the relevant country of origin must also be observed and complied with. Extensive documents must also be compiled in a specific, certified form and a corresponding translation.

In addition, long waiting times are to be expected in the case of adoptions abroad, until or whether a child proposal is received at all. In principle, older children are also placed in Germany. The wish to adopt a healthy baby cannot be fulfilled here.

You can only apply to an agency in Germany that is authorized to provide international adoption. In addition to recognized foreign placement agencies of independent organizations, these are the central adoption offices of the state youth welfare offices and the adoption placement offices of the local youth welfare offices (insofar as this has been permitted by the central adoption office of the state youth welfare office).

Further information on the topic of international adoption can be found at the Bavarian State Youth Welfare Office.

All international placements must be reported by the international placement agency to the Federal Central Agency for Abroad Adoption.

When and how do I tell my child?

An adopted child should be informed as early as possible about the fact of the adoption and its origin. Any secrecy is harmful. If your child learns from strangers that it is an adopted child, this can lead to a massive shattering of the relationship of trust.

The younger a child is, the more natural it is to deal with this information. Answer all questions correctly and age-appropriately.

Smaller children usually don't know what to do with the term "adoption". That is why you keep explaining what this is all about.

From the age of 16, the child has the opportunity to inspect the civil status register. From this the fact of adoption and his biological descent emerge.

The fact of adoption can also be seen in the birth register / family register.

Of course, at some point the child will ask who his parents are and why they put him up for adoption. Adopted people have the right to know their parentage.

The confrontation with the birth parents is often painful and offensive for the children. The search for them is usually associated with uncertainty and fear. During this time, adoptive children need the understanding support of their adoptive parents. It is important to convey to the child that this step was painful for the birth parents, but necessary, and that it took place in the child's interest.

The adoption and its circumstances may only be disclosed with the consent of the adoptive parents and the child. Exceptions are only permitted when prosecuting serious crimes.

The placement office advises parents on how they can - depending on the age of the child - talk about adoption over and over again. Here they also receive support in the question of whether the child should get to know the birth parents.

Adopted people who have started looking for their family of origin can also seek advice.

We offer these educational topics for further reading:

Further information

Parents letters

This topic can be found in the letters from parents ...