Why I’ve decided to adopt a baby

Image of Nana Darkoa by Yinka

I’m 41 years old and to date, I’ve never heard my biological clock tick. That hasn’t stopped me from agonising about whether or not I should have a baby. For over a decade I’ve gone back and forth on this ad nauseum. In 2008 at an international feminist meeting, I was struck by a comment one woman made. She said her one regret was not having a child. I’ve lived in fear that I could potentially have that same fear one day. And that fear made me constantly question myself. Wouldn’t it be better to have a child than not have a child? After all you tend to regret the things you don’t do and not what you do. And then in the early stages of one relationship, I fell pregnant. It was unplanned but after getting over the initial shock my partner and I became excited. 12 weeks later we found out that the foetus didn’t have a heartbeat. That was a really difficult and deeply emotional time for me.

A year later my then partner and I decided to try for a baby but this time via IVF. As we were both sickle cell carriers, we wanted to eliminate the one in three chance of having a child with sickle cell. The first round of IVF was very costly, partly because we were being treated in the UK as the type of treatment we needed wasn’t available in Ghana. Fast forward a few months later, and I found myself at the end of that relationship and shortly afterwards grappling with the question of whether I wanted to try another round of IVF but this time as a single woman. I went back and forth on the question even having two consultations with fertility centres in Ghana and South Africa. Eventually I decided to go deep within me and ask myself, ‘what do you really want?’ I had to ask myself this because I recognised that I had been acting out of fear and a desire to please the people around me including my ex and my parents. And so I made the choice to return to a desire I have always had and that’s been to adopt. I’ve never understood why we keep having children when there are already so many children in the world who need love. I’m looking forward to sharing my love with such children one day.

Have you adopted a child? Will you ever consider adopting? Are you an adopted child? Share your experiences in the comments below

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9 comments On Why I’ve decided to adopt a baby

  • MASI, I totally support you in this! I’ve wanted to adopt since I was a child myself. When I told my dad, his response was “You better think of having your own children before looking to take care of someone else’s.”
    I understand his response may have been driven out of a fear that his own genetic pool might be in jeopardy with my choice, but it wasn’t (and still isn’t) a good enough reason to invalidate that potential choice.
    Can’t wait to meet my niece when she joins our family! I love her already.

  • I adopted a 3 month old baby. My biological clock never ticked and then one day the clocks alarm went off and wouldn’t leave me alone . It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done but the most difficult job I have ever done. All the best on your journey

    • You made me laugh with the images of your clocks going off and not stopping. Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you all the best in your journey too. Hugs

  • I’m really proud of you for this decision and for writing this piece. I had never thought of adoption until my nephew came into my life. Now it is my daily prayer that God will bless me with the chance to adopt him. Adoption is still not regarded in Ghana and carries a stigma. We are very selfish when it comes to child birth and child care. Most people think you have to have your own or care for your own. Flesh and blood doesn’t guarantee loving parents or loving kids.
    I applaud you on this. Stay strong. Your baby is out there. And I know people at social Welfare now. Let me know if you need someone to talk to.

  • Congratulations Nana!

    I think adoption is beautiful, I have always wanted to adopt, which my husband knew before we married and said he was cool with it. The family were very much like ‘why adopt a random when there are so many kids in our village who you can help, just support us to send money home’.l blah blah blah. I find Ghanaians generally so adoption averse.

    Now married, hubby wants us to have ‘our kids first’. Its very problematic for me so I’m torn. For me this child will be mine, a deliberate choice, not an addendum or compensation if I am unable to have more biological kids myself. I’d never want my adopted child so feel that way and I fear the family around me would give off those vibes. It really puts me off doing it.

  • I have wanted to adopt a little girl since I was 20 years old. I fell in love with a baby (she was abandoned) that I met in a neonatal ICU. Since then I have felt that adoption was the path for me. I have never felt the desire to birth my own children. The little girl I will adopt will be my own child, a deliberate choice that I will make. My friends have very positive views about adoption. 2 have already adopted. My family on the other hand is not very supportive. I hope they won’t treat my child differently. I am now 27 years old and I am holding off adopting until I am in my 30s. But I really am so excited to meet her one day.

  • All I know is i thought i didn’t want to have one of my own until i adopted one, and had one.now i am eagerly awaiting my second yes i am 40+

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