Question: “We’ve already bought a lot of things for a girl, but we’d be open to a boy or girl. Is it OK to hope we adopt a girl?”
Answer: Lifetime Adoption advises waiting adoptive couples not to indicate openness to either gender if you feel you’d turn down an opportunity to adopt a boy. It would devastate a birth mother to be turned down because her baby wasn’t what you’d hoped for.
If you really would be glad and ready to love the baby girl OR boy you adopt, then don’t let the material items hold you back from what could become the amazing way your family grows. You could easily sell the baby clothes and gear that are definitely “girl” items and use that money to update your family with the “boy” things. Or you could trade items with a friend who has the gender specific gear or clothes that you’d need.
But, if deep down you know you only want to adopt a boy or girl specifically, then don’t be open to “either” because it will put you in a position of feeling as if you settled, or worse, a place where you’re actually turning away a child.
Really take a look at what you’d be open to regarding gender in your adoption preferences. Gender preferences don’t come with a priority order (i.e. no “first” and “second” choice). It’s discouraging and devastating for a birth mother if you turned down an opportunity to adopt her baby because of gender. Fully stand behind your adoption preferences, and make sure you’re only being open to what you know you’d say YES to.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.