If you’re new to the amazing world of adoption, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. One of the biggest questions that we hear is, “What does adoption mean, and why is it so significant to so many people?”

As it is with any life-changing experience, it’s difficult to find just one meaning of adoption. After all, adoption continues to have a profound impact on everyone involved in the process during their day-to-day life, long after the final papers are signed.

If you wish to learn more about this topic, here are a few examples of what adoption might mean to each individual involved in the process.

What Does Adoption Mean to Adoptive Parents?

The road to adoption for hopeful parents is full of challenges and roadblocks. At any point, there are many couples looking to build their family through adoption due to infertility. An adoptive couple may have struggled for years to become parents, and they know the heartbreak associated with infertility all too well. Adoption can help them accomplish one of their biggest dreams in life — becoming a family. For an adoptive family that’s struggled with infertility, their personal adoption meaning is one that comes from years of struggles.

But many of the families that choose adoption do so simply because they want to bring a child in need of a home into their life. Through adoption, they get to experience the ups and downs that come with raising a child, something that will forever change their life. Because they want to experience the love and joy that comes with raising a child of their own, adoption means everything to them.

Whether it’s through a foster care adoption, a newborn domestic adoption, or an international adoption, this journey will forever change their lives.

What Does Adoption Mean to Birth Parents?

Adoption can have one of the most significant meanings for birth parents, whether they are still considering adoption or have placed their children with another family.

For a young woman with an unexpected pregnancy, adoption is a chance to continue her education and to pursue the dream career that she’s always wanted. If a woman is struggling to put food on the table for the family she already has and knows she’s not ready to raise another child, adoption may be a helpful option. And, for a woman who has experienced or is currently experiencing, poverty and homelessness, it can be the saving grace for her and her baby — and her adoption meaning becomes even more profound.

No matter what your situation is as a prospective birth mother, placing your child for adoption is a selfless sacrifice. What it means to give your child up for adoption will be different for you than it is for other birth mothers.

But, don’t let yourself think, “If I place my child for adoption, it means I don’t love her or him.” The “placing your child for adoption” and “giving up for adoption” meanings are not one and the same. When you place your child for adoption, you’re making the selfless choice to give your child the best opportunities possible.  It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent or that you don’t care about your child. In fact, it means you’re brave enough to recognize the right thing to do in an incredibly difficult situation. As your child grows up, they will understand that you made this selfless sacrifice only out of love for them.

If you are a prospective birth mother, adoption can also mean financial assistance, free unplanned pregnancy counseling and more. To learn about the advantages of this unplanned pregnancy counseling, contact an adoption professional today:

What Does Adoption Mean to Adoptees?

Every year, thousands of children are given a new life through adoption. For every child that is adopted, a safe and loving home is made available. They’ll get to experience brand-new opportunities that might not have been available to them with their birth parents or in foster care. Adoption doesn’t mean that they have to say goodbye to their biological parents forever, either. Depending on the relationship with the birth parents and the adoptive family, an adoptee can still get to know their birth parents through an open adoption.

For children that have been adopted, the meaning of adoption is that of a life with better opportunities. Many adoptees know their open adoption story and understand that their biological parents placed them for adoption out of one thing — love. For them, adoption is the choice their birth parents made to give them the best life possible, as hard of a decision as it might have been. While adoption can be full of conflicting emotions, for most adoptees, it’s something to be proud of.

What Does Adoption Mean for the Community?

As adoption continues to evolve, the community’s perspective continues to change, as well. We have gone from a culture that shames women from choosing adoption, forcing them to hide their pregnancy, to one that works to find available resources for struggling mothers and embrace children that have been adopted.  The history of adoption truly has changed for the better.

Adoption helps promote diversity and tolerate differences in other families. Many adoptive parents complete transracial adoptions and do everything they can to teach their children about their heritages. If you’re looking into adoption, it’s very likely that you know someone that’s been adopted (or maybe you’ve been adopted yourself), and you understand how adoption can change a child’s life.

For the adoption community, the meaning of adoption is a beautiful one — full of many reasons of how adoption has changed their lives. What will it mean for you?