Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Decision to adopt must be her own

Q: Iím a 45-year-old single woman who is financially secure and a self-described introvert.

I am happy being single, have a decent job, own a home, and have created a good life for myself. I badly want to adopt or foster a child on my own and I have thought of doing this for years. Every time I bring this up to my parents, I am bombarded with the negative aspects of being a single parent. Additionally, my father is admittedly prejudiced and has made remarks about the possibility that I may adopt a nonwhite child.

I have tried talking to my parents about how their statements make me feel, and nothing has changed. I fear that if I listen to my motherís litany of reasons I shouldnít be a parent, I will never fulfill my dream. I have always been close to my parents and it feels strange to make this an off-limits topic and simply do what I want to do.

Do you have any advice on how I can handle this situation?

M.

A: Iíd say you have in fact listened to your motherís litany of reasons you shouldnít be a parent. Not deciding is the same as not becoming.

Now, if youíre still thinking about it for your own reasons, then do keep thinking. Thatís important.

But if youíre all set otherwise and your only obstacle is your parentsí disapproval, then, congratulations. You have no obstacles.

If the issue is more about fears they may be right, then do your homework using knowledgeable, accredited sources, of which your parents are neither. Your fatherís overt and unapologetic racism utterly disqualifies him as a source of just about everything, except perhaps as the embodiment of the prejudice you and a future child may face.

Donít explain yourself, just be yourself. You donít need to make the topic "off limits," though, either, since itís enough not to engage with them on it any further. A fine distinction, maybe, but one that gives you the control: "Thanks, Iíll keep that in mind. "

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