Friday, April 23, 2010

The Duggars: Why Don't They Just Adopt?

So many people just say "If they want such a big family, why don't they just adopt? There are so many kids who need a good home. They are being selfish having all those kids and not adopting." As a child who was adopted, I have a real problem with statements like this. Adoption is not something you just tell people to do like "Why don't you just buy that coat?"

Not everyone was meant to be an adoptive parent. I'm not saying the Duggars wouldn't be FABULOUS adoptive parents, they probably would be. The point is, being an adoptive parent is something you are called to do from within. It's something your heart tells you to do, not something society tells you to do, something you're pressured to do, or something you feel you should do.

I was a very lucky girl. My parents wanted me very very much and I was told so on a daily basis. I was treated like one of the family, having an older sister who is natural to them. I knew I was adopted, but was not TOLD I was adopted--it wasn't something I was reminded of on a daily basis. In fact it was something I was allowed to forget. People told me I looked like my mother and it didn't occur to me that I didn't. Now at the same time, coincidentally, my best friend growing up also happened to be an adopted child and sadly she did not have the same good fortune I did. Her parents also had children natural to them and she also was the baby of the family. Unfortunately for her, she was reminded almost daily that she was adopted. If her grades were poor, if she did something wrong, it was almost said as an excuse, "well she's adopted." She was also introduced as their adopted daughter. Now I can understand doing that if she had come from another country and you had to explain it to people who might have asked why you had an Asian child or something, but she was as white as they were. It was almost as if they were trying to gain some recognition for their "good works." (I should add that daddy was a preacher, and frankly, not a very good one--hey, I sat through enough of his sermons I'm allowed to judge.) So was it any surprise that she was a terror all through high school, jumped the first guy out of town after graduation, and was never heard from again? Why not when you're treated like a second class citizen in your own home? I also worked at a summer camp one summer and one of the counselors had a 5 yr old she had adopted and she was just so proud that she had adopted that she couldn't stop telling everyone. She introduced her daughter as her adopted child. When her daughter had little tantrums, as 5 yr olds sometimes do when it's beeen a long day, she'd joke "don't blame me she's adopted." I would just cringe. I have no idea how that girl turned out, but it wouldn't surprise me if that woman continued talking like that, her daughter would up a nightmare of behaviour issues. Seriously, what could hurt a child more than constantly telling him/her "you're not really mine?"

My point here is, adoption is something personal and it's something major. You either do it whole-heartedly and full-on, or you don't do it at all. You make that child a complete part of your family or you forget the idea completely. Now again, I would never say the Duggars would be anything but wonderful parents to any child they took into their home. I'm saying that NO ONE should tell ANYONE they should adopt. Adoption should come from within your own heart. Only you can decide that for yourself.

I was told all through my 20s it would be hard for me to conceive. I just figured I wouldn't have kids. I was reconciled to not having any. Adoption never entered my mind. I didn't want children enough--it wasn't in my heart to adopt. Now that I am lucky enough to have been blessed with a child, I find that I would love to have another. It's still not in my heart to adopt. Adoption isn't for everyone and I don't feel guilty, in fact I would feel guilty if I adopted not feeling 100% about it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Duggars, or Duggar children do adopt someday, they are loving, giving, compassionate people. But having people TELL them they need to makes my heart hurt. Decisions like those are private and personal. Make those yourself.


  1. Adoption is a calling and it can be hard to take on once you have kids of your own. I fell in love with a little boy is fostercare a few years ago and wanted to bring him to a forever home with us. My daughter was struggling though and I new that this little boy would need attention I may not have to give him. I had to make the choice to leave him with the foster mom I knew and loved and focus on the children I had. It worked out for the best because later when his baby brother was born they were able to be together and now they have a forever family together. This was the greater plan I think and we need to sometimes give in and let things happen as they should. For the Duggars their calling is having babies, and they do it well.

    My sister was adopted when she was 3 days old she is the middle child, she is half black and half firstnations so it was clear she wasn't a bio child. My parents love her with their whole hearts though, she was the chosen child in all ways. She was adopted after the loss of twin boys and filled sorrow filled hearts. I look at my parents as a guide, they were called to adopt her and they stuck by her even though she is not on a good path in life. She didn't grow up to be what they hoped, they visit her in Jail when she goes and they shake their heads and sigh but always offer love (but not money)to her in her time of need. I think if you aren't called to that path it could be very hard to follow, just like having 19 kids it isn't for everyone.

  2. A few more comments:

    1. The Duggars would not be able to get an approved home study, most likely. They would have too many children still in the home under 18. Most social workers won't approve that, and nearly all international adoptions won't approve large families. Sad, but true.

    2. Even if the Duggars adopted, that does not mean that they would stop having biologicall children. They don't have 18 children b/c they want a 'huge family' or b/c they want a certain number etc. They truly are leaving their fertility in G-d's hands, which means that they don't pick a number and stop there, etc. They aren't tryign for 20, or 25, etc. They are just leaving it up to G-d.

  3. People telling other people to adopt (or NOT adopt, or to have children naturally, or not have children naturally) irks me. I've seen so many posts in so many places from people suggesting that the Duggars should have adopted. I often wonder if the person posting them has adopted a child or children themselves. I'm guessing, no. I think (along the lines of what you're saying) people who HAVE adopted a child are probably much more respectful of others choices than those who have not experienced adoption firsthand.

  4. As a mom who has both bio and adopted children I think people need to butt out of other peoples lives. Adoption is a very long and hard process. There aren't very many children available for adoption so if you have children you very rarely can adopt.

    We now can't adopt due to our number of bedrooms. Adoption is something that I am thankful we did. I LOVE being their mommy! Our children are the joy of our lives! It has to be something one is led to do by the Lord. As is being quiver full. Which we are as well.

  5. Thank you, those of you who have the inside knowledge, for posting the information about adoption. It is interesting to note that if the Duggars actually applied today to adopt, they probably couldn't. What would those people who always say in the msg boards "if they want kids why don't they adopt" think if they actually knew the facts instead of just spewing without thinking?

    Frankly, I don't think you could adopt 19 children. They see people like Angelina Jolie, who frankly goes outside America and bends a few rules I'm sure, assuming that anyone can adopt whenever they want to. Honestly I think Angelina Jolie would have trouble legally adopting in the United States--it would have to be private and probably cost her an arm and a leg.

    It boils down to this--people need to just keep certain things to themselves. Yes the Duggars put their lives out there for all of us to discuss and debate...but telling someone to adopt is like telling someone to have an abortion--you just can't do it.

  6. People are, I assume, saying that the Duggars should adopt because they are such terific parents.
    How about they share their parenting techniques so that people who are desperate to adopt can glean all the pearls of wisdom they can, and spread the joy and blessing a child is, around.
    Oh wait they are doing...
    If you have the heart to adopt - that is wonderful. But you don't get that heart just because you are a good parent. there is a difference.

  7. This is what cracks me up the most. The very people that are saying 'They should just adopt' are the ones saying 'They can't possibly parent all those children properly'. So they should adopt so they can parent the adopted children improperly?? Or they say 'the older girls raise the younger ones'. Ok, so the Duggars should adopt so the girls can have more kids to raise??

    The anti-Duggar people don't make sense sometimes! LOL

    Mrs P

  8. In the U.S., there are disproportionately more Pro-Lifers than children in foster care.

    What I always wonder is, if you're so "Pro-Life," then why do so few of you adopt children? Don't you care about the actual lives of children...or is it just the fetuses you're concerned about?

    You're quick to condemn and tell a young woman that she MUST give birth, but then you direct her to random resources.

    What about putting your money where your mouth is and BE the resource?