Brief background: I am an adoptee. This means I was adopted. I was born in a hospital in Moscow, Russia and abandoned a few days after I was born. I was later adopted between the ages of eight-to-nine months and brought over to the States.
I can not tell you how mind-blowingly frustrating it is to hear people make the argument “just put the kid up for adoption” or “just adopt a child”. It is especially hair pulling when they have not adopted a single child, themselves.
Let me through you some quick facts about adoption. One, it is very expensive, especially if you adopt overseas. Two, sometimes legal complications arise, and/or they make you go through a three-ring circus to adopt the child in foreign countries (some companies have a issue with this in the States as well). Three, if you are a “minority” child (African America, Asian, physically disabled, mentally disabled, etc) your chances of being adopt hit the floor. Four, if you are a child whose native tongue is not English (common in foreign country adoptions), your chances of being adopted hit the floor if you already speak your native language.
There’s also the risk of attachment disorder (commonly known as reactive attachment disorder). It is often seen in the adoptive and foster community, due to the child’s inability to form stable bonds with a single caregiver. This causes a lot of problems for the child emotionally and/or mentally. This often leads to trust problems, difficulties forming (and keeping) relationships, and possibly rebellion against authoritative figures. One end of the spectrum is extreme aggression, while the other end is extremely shy and quiet. Every child is different with reactive attachment disorder, and every potential-parent is NOT up to the challenge (which is totally okay!).
Trouble bonding with your new parent can be very taxing on both the child and family involved. Parents are often left dumbstruck, unsure of how to handle the newly adopted (or fostered) child. One thing that is vital for the child to help them get better is therapy (and/or possibly medication). The children have been installed with “to love means to hurt, because everything I love gets taken away from me” (something along these lines). This is why it is so incredibly difficult for children with reactive attachment disorder to get better. They can love, but it takes a lot of de-programming.
Children are practically overflowing from orphanages now. When children do not get adopted, they often turn to crime to make a living (prostitution and gang violence is common). Foster children are very likely to end up in prison as well.
Adoption is tough on everyone. It is not meant for everyone. It requires a lot of hard work, from everyone involved. Sometimes symptoms related to adoption (trust issues, for example) can not show up until the child is in their young adult years.
I have always had identity issues, not knowing who I “really” am. It is a battle I am fighting everyday. I have trust issues, because of my adoption and because of past relationships. I know even though I was in the orphanage for such a short period of time, the trauma was somehow imprinted on my psyche.