How Hard is it to Adopt a Baby? 6 Reasons Adoption is Difficult

Adopting a child may seem a bit intimidating, not to mention tedious and time-consuming. Some adoptive parents may ask, how hard is it to adopt a baby?

Adopting a baby can be very difficult, as the majority of children available for adoption are older. There are enormous adoption costs, and the wait times are long and difficult. Adoptees deal with knowing they were adopted and may suffer consequences that last a lifetime.

So in answer to your question, yes, adopting a baby or child of any age can be very challenging in many ways.

We will cover the following topics in this article:

  • Adoptive Parents Need to be Financially Stable
  • Costs of Adoption Can Create Family Debt
  • Adoption Wait Times Can be Long
  • Placing a Baby Up for Adoption can be Difficult
  • Birth Parents Live with Adoption Stigma
  • Adoptees Live with Knowing They Were Adopted

If you are considering taking the adoption journey, it is important to understand the complexities that are involved and to not be naive to the actual realities of what adoption entails.

You may benefit by joining an online support group to get an idea of the experiences of other adoptive parents and the struggles they faced along their own journey.

Support groups are also a good place to share your own experiences and to get advice and input from others who have faced similar challenges.

Here we will cover nine reasons why adopting a child can be very hard.

Our goal is not to discourage you from adopting a child but rather by sharing common difficulties, you will be more prepared for these things should they arise.

Adoptive parents need to be financially stable

It is no secret that adopting a child is a very costly endeavor and can easily set a family back large amounts of money.

For exact costs of adopting a child, you will first want to decide what type of adoption liaison you will be using.

We caution you to be very careful, as there are stories of couples being ripped off by shady adoption liaisons who take advantage of desperate couples wanting to adopt.


Related Article: Anyone going through the adoption application process will be required to have a home study. How to Prepare for Adoption Home Study: Home Study Checklist


Research information on the adoption process and requirements in your state, as well as contacting those adoption agencies in your area. This will give you a more precise idea of the actual costs you will be faced with when adopting a child.

Costs of adoption can create family debt

It is best to try and get as much debt paid off as possible before beginning your adoption journey, and save, save, save.

The more you save for the adoption expenses, the less you will have to borrow. This, of course, means less debt you will have hanging over your head.

It is no secret that raising children is expensive. Can you imagine also trying to juggle a large, monthly loan payment to pay back the cost of your adoption, along with your mortgage or rent, as well as a possible car payment or two?

Adopting through the foster care system is significantly less expensive, not even remotely as costly as a traditional adoption.

This gives you the option of getting to know the child whom lives with you before deciding if you wish to adopt them.

We encourage you to research the pros and cons of being a foster parent to know if this option is of interest to you.

Make it easier on yourself by being as financially prepared as possible, and try to avoid putting yourself in a financial hardship.


Related Article: If you are considering adoption and have biological children, you may be wondering how to tell your biological children about the adopted child. Explaining Adoption to Your Biological Child: Crucial Tips


Adoption wait times can be long

Wait times can vary drastically depending on how one chooses to adopt. For example, international adoptions can take up to a couple of years or more.

Many adoptive parents have to fly back and forth more than once, which also adds to the expense.

There are things you can do that will help you adopt more quickly than had you not been more prepared.

Adoption wait times for adoption agencies within the United States also vary.

An Adoptive Family survey shows that 63% of U.S. adoptions were completed within one year.

This survey also shows that 37% of those surveyed took longer than 12 months for their adoptions to be finalized. Read more about when adoptions are finalized and what takes so long.. There are agencies like American Adoptions that complete on average 75% of their U.S. adoptions within one year.

Depending on the age of the adoptive parents, that could also add to the adoption wait time. Birth mothers tend to lean towards younger prospective parents wishing to adopt whom have an active lifestyle.

Placing a baby up for adoption can be difficult

The birth parents are faced with very difficult decisions when they are first contemplating giving their baby up for adoption.

A birth mother carriers her child for nine months, surely becoming attached to the little baby growing inside of her.

The decision to give one’s baby up for adoption can be a rollercoaster ride to say the least. One minute, the birth mother might be feeling that she will not let anything stop her from raising her baby.

The next minute, she may be thinking that she cannot provide her baby what her baby deserves.

Loving a child so much that a birth mother is willing to give the baby to someone else is one of the most selfless acts a mother can ever do for her child.

Birth parents must learn to adjust to life after the birth of the baby knowing they allowed someone else to raise their baby. One one hand, they have a warm feeling knowing they did what was best for their baby.

On the other hand, that does not erase the deep pain of knowing that a child the birth mother carried for 9 months and could have kept is now gone.


As a side note, I did research on the possibility of an adoptive parent being able to nurse an adopted baby. You might be surprised at what learned, so go check it out.


There are no take-backs after giving your baby up for adoption.

Many birth parents, especially birth mothers, find that they never get over the pain of giving their child up for adoption. Especially if the birth mother was young and felt pressured to do so.

What does my baby look like today, they may ask themselves? If I had kept my baby, where would we be today? Will my child I put up for adoption resent me when they find out they are adopted?

And then there is the thought in the back of the head as years pass whether or not the child will ever try to find their birth parents. Those thoughts have got to be overwhelming, too.

Time goes by, but the birth parents will never be able to forget they put their child up for adoption. Even though it may have been in the best interest of the child, that maternal instinct and love never goes away.

Due to the pain and difficulties birth parents can suffer, many seek counseling to help them get in touch with their feelings. Others may find solace in joining either in-person or online support groups for birth parents who put their children up for adoption.

Birth parents live with adoption stigma

Not only do birth parents have to live with the pain of not being with their child they put up for adoption, they also have to live with the stigma of what others think.

You may find it interesting to read the stories of those affected firsthand by adoption. Giving Up a Baby for Adoption has a Lifetime Impact, an article courtesy of The Irish Times, is a powerful example of what people go through after adoption.

Some family members may look down on the birth mother or judge her for putting her baby up for adoption.

Can you imagine being the mother of a daughter who is pregnant, and then learning she is going to put her baby up for adoption?

Your grandchild will be given up to another family, and you will not be provided the opportunity to get to know your grandchild. Other family members may judge the birth mother as well.

Regardless of whether the birth mother is making the best decision for her unborn baby or not, the stigmas are still there. Others may place judgment assuming the birth mother does not love her baby.

Some may think that the birth parents are selfish and care more about themselves and do not want to take the time necessary to raise a child.

Others may conclude that if you put your baby up for adoption, then you are a bad, heartless person.

People can be cruel, and ignorance is a very sad thing. Most birth parents do not simply find it easy to put their babies up for adoption as if their unborn baby is an inconvenience.

The stigmas birth mothers suffer are unfair and unfortunate. Many will require counseling and support for years to come.

Adoptees live with knowing they were adopted

Imagine that you are a child and you are told you are adopted. I do not know about you, but one of the first thoughts that would pop into my head as a child would be, did my birth mother just not want me?

As the adoptee matures, they may rationalize that their birth parents did the best they could and only thought of what was in the best interest of their child.

Yet at the same time, they will always have a secret ache to know more about their birth parents.

What does my birth mom and dad look like? Do I have any sisters and brothers? How might I find my birth parents? Will I hurt my adoptive parent’s feelings if they know I am looking for my birth parents?

So many questions that naturally run through an adoptee’s head when they learn they were adopted.

There are stories of adoptees who were lied to and told their birth parents were dead. Some begin to realize they may be adopted, even when the adoptive parents insist they were not. There are more stories like this at MentalHealth.Net.

Adoptees can go through feelings of abandonment and rejection by their birth parents. This in turns puts them in a state of loss and grief.

These feelings can arise when they are told they are adopted, or they can arise down the road.

And then there is the concern each adoptee faces of not knowing their family medical history. We all need to know our family history to know if we are genetically prone to any potential diseases that run in the family.

There is nothing easy about adopting a child. There can be pain and heartache felt by many. The sacrifices birth parents make are real and felt for a lifetime.

The wait times to adopt a child can feel like eternity, and the psychological issues faced by adoptees can be complicated and long-lasting.