Believe it or not, I get this question asked to me quite frequently. “Is it better to adopt a child and take them away from what they know or sponsor a child and help them to thrive in their own country?”
This is my perspective on the question, based on 16 years of operating an international orphan aid charity as well as 5 years of operating an adoption agency that focused on international adoption and 16 years of adoption consulting. And, yes, some personal experience as well, since I adopted internationally myself 16 years ago.
Growing up in a family with parents, perhaps siblings and extended family gives the child the best case scenario for experiencing personal love and bonding and the ability to express the same back to the family. Children in families are safer and their needs are met in a more personal manner as they receive individualized attention.
The hard part for the child, is being taken away from everything that is familiar to them. Culture, community, language, extended family, friends etc. It can take years for the child to adjust, although the younger they are at time of placement, the sooner they adapt into their new life.
Growing up in a family style children’s home (orphanage) is better than being on the streets, or living with parents/family who are ill, abusive or non existent in the home. Family style children’s homes are much like our youth group homes here in the USA. At least the ones supported by our parent organization www.orphanslifelineofhope.org are. These children receive everything they need as we would give our own children, within their culture. Although they do lack the individualized love and bonding that comes from an actualized family, we are seeing these children grow into loving, caring young adults who desire to seek careers that give back and help their communities, especially the other orphans.
The true answer to the question lies within you. If you have a desire to parent and raise children through adoption then that is what you should do! If you are unsure if the commitment of adopting a child into your family and life is for you, then sponsoring is the best option for you!
Feel free to contact me for a free, private consultation on adoption and/or sponsoring options.