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Loving an Adopted Child – Yes

In this sophisticated modern society, it seems impossible that people should question the ability of adoptive parents to love their adopted children unconditionally. The act of giving love is, by definition, unconditional. Do we place conditions on love for our natural children? Perhaps I am prejudiced because I have an adopted daughter but the determining factor in this equation is that she has two older sisters, both of whom are my “natural” children.

Ironically my adopted daughter married a man who was also adopted. After trying for about nine years to have a child, they began adoption proceedings of a five month old boy. He is loving, sweet, intelligent and talented in many ways at the tender age of three years. I can say this without prejudice because he is adopted, or maybe that should be despite the fact that he is adopted. No one has questioned his love for his mother and father, or for me. Why should anyone question our love for him?

I never concealed the fact that Jennifer was adopted and was, in fact, open and honest about this. As many adoptive parents do, I told her that she was chosen to be my special daughter. For this reason, she was insulted by her seven year old peer who didn’t believe she was adopted. After all, don’t all children decide at some point that they were adopted, especially if they are momentarily unhappy because mom and dad said no to their most recent request?

Usually human beings have a strong desire to have their own children. Partially it is an inherent desire to perpetuate the species, but it is also a natural way of expressing love. The need to express love is as strong as the need to receive it. It is not necessary to direct love to a particular individual or child; it is necessary to merely give that love. Some people direct that love to their spouse or a sibling’s child and no one questions that this form of love is genuine.

Not accepting an adopted child in any way is, in my opinion, a form of prejudice. Physically, blood may be thicker than water, but it is the love of two persons for each other that forms the unbreakable bond.

The 2000 U. S. Census Bureau reported that 1.6 million adopted children are United States citizens. Further, one in six children was of a different race than their adoptive parents and thirteen percent of our adopted children are foreign born.

Loosely translated, these figures demonstrate that more than one and one-half million children were chosen by their parents, despite race, creed, health, or national origin. If that is not unconditional love, then no such thing exists.