Mom of 6 explains why love isn't always enough: "Don't tell someone who can't have kids to just adopt"

Amy Christie

Tracy Whitney has six kids, including two children adopted from China. After her first four children, she knew she didn't want to give birth again, but that didn't mean her family couldn't grow.

After her last difficult birth, Tracy and her husband started researching adoption options and tried to understand how to make their family complete.

Even though she now works in adoption advocacy, Tracy is convinced that this process involves complex issues beyond affection. And telling someone who can't have their own kids to go ahead and adopt is not what she recommends while showing support.

What are the details?

"My husband and I started looking at different adoption options and found we were drawn to the special-needs adoption program in China. In adoption, 'special needs' means anything that can make a child harder to place with their forever family," Tracy shared with Insider.

During the following year, they dived into more details related to the adoption process, and that's how she found the organization called 'Creating a Family.'

The nonprofit is focused on educating people about the whole adoption process, and the mother instantly realized she would have plenty of relevant information available concerning every stage of the adoption process.

She joined their group on social media and kept learning about all the implications deriving from it.

"Over the past decade, I have understood a lot about adoption and building a family," Tracy said.

Why love is not enough

People who are unable to have kids are often told to go for adoption, or they are reminded that there are so many kids in need of protection and loving homes. However, the mother feels that affection is just not enough when it comes to adopting a child.

"Don't tell someone who can't have kids to just adopt," she recommended.

"You can't simply bring a child to your home who has gone through the loss of their first caregiver, their birth mother, and not expect to have some fallout because of it. Love is essential, but so is education, therapy, and informed parenting," she shared with Insider.

She also pointed out that adoption includes a feeling of loss and that making this decision involves being prepared to face it.

"Children who get adopted have lost the connection with their birth families. And for international adoptees like my daughters, there's a lot more loss: of language, culture, and ethnic community. Adoptive parents have to recognize these losses and the needs they add and be equipped to guide their child toward healing," she explained.

Even though she's been learning about adoption for over ten years, Tracy still feels there will always be gaps because she hasn't experienced what it feels like as a child.

"I am truly immersed in adoption, but I'll never have the experience of being an adopted person. I can't have that shared starting point to talk about and share what my children have experienced," she said.

And that is why she thinks it's essential for parents to listen to adoptees and help them be heard.

"Prospective adoptive parents need to center the voice of adoptees to get an inside glimpse into their experiences and what has to be done to improve them."

There are many ways to start building a family, and each one has its advantages and drawbacks. What matters most is to make an informed decision and go for what makes you feel fulfilled and happy. Understanding each possible pathway with its unique challenges will help steer you on the right track.

"No one can tell you the best course for your family; you need to take the time to understand each pathway and all the pitfalls you might encounter there. Only then can you make a choice about what is best for you," Tracy concluded.

Sources:

https://www.insider.com/adoptive-mom-and-advocate-on-why-love-isnt-enough-2022-5

https://twitter.com/thisisinsider

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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