Choosing the gender and health of your child is a frightening idea to many. However, when navigating the process of adoption, one is confronted with such a dilemma.
The adoption agency I worked with wanted to know: (1) did I prefer male or female; (2) was I open to a child of another race, if so, which ones; (3) would I accept a child with minor or major disabilities; (4) what kind of health issues were acceptable? Sections three and four were especially agonizing.
After much soul searching, my summary of preferences were as follows. I indicated that I preferred a female over a male, but it wasn’t a strong preference. Any race was acceptable.
As I assessed the many health and disability factors, I evaluated the reality of my resources. Living and working in a rural area, I was attempting to adopt as a single parent. There were no child care centers within 30 miles and the small town hospital nearby provided basic medical care. My parents and sister lived three hours away.
As a pastor to several small churches, my schedule was somewhat flexible but I was also “on call” most of the time. Recognizing the high stress level of this occupation, the fact that there would be no spousal support and the “on call” nature of my profession, led me to decide that a healthy child was the most important factor for me. I recognized that I did not realistically have the resources to adequately parent a child with special needs.
I also recognized that receiving a healthy baby was no guarantee that the child would not have health issues later.
As it turned out, a healthy, African American baby boy was offered and I joyfully accepted.
drpers © 2007