I think I'm gonna adopt a kid. Not now, of course. Don't go running to the authorities, trying to find a way to stop me. I know -- I'm in no fit shape to be a parent now. But, y'know, maybe someday, in the far future, I think I might adopt a kid.
Why, you ask, are you planning to adopt? Why not make a kid the old-fashioned way? You have a beautiful, intelligent, talented wife who'd pass on lovely genes to some lucky youngster. And, you yourself are ... um ... tall, so that'd be good for a kid. Well, I'll tell ya: you're right. Shan's genes would be a boon to any little nipper, and my height is useful, especially in getting stuff off of the top shelves at the grocery store. But, there are definite downsides to a kid of your own making:
1) Pregnancy: Now, I don't begrudge women their right to have babies. And I don't think pregnant women are ugly or anything. But they can be crabby and, especially as the happy day approaches, a pain in the ass. I mean, what good is a wife if she can't take out the garbage anymore, or climb a tree to retrieve your frisbee, or lug a 30lb bag of cat litter in from the car, am I right? And pregnancy means you lose all utility from your wife for 5 or 6 months, at least. I just don't like the sound of that.
2) Genetic Flaws: So, you have a kid who's your own flesh and blood. A few years go by, and suddenly, he's an ugly, stupid little bastard. You've got no one to blame -- those are your genes he's carrying. All that ugly and that stupid comes from you. Sure, the kid might end up being a beautiful genius, and you could say "those are my genes, alright!" But, more likely, he'll end up being a repulsive, ignorant little cuss, and there'll be nobody to blame it on but yourself. Just ask my parents.
On a more serious note, there are definite upsides to adoption. I'm a big believer that at least 63.5% of the world's problems, including global warming and much of the war in the world, are at least an indirect result of overpopulation. Envirnmental problems occur when we consume too much, or produce too much waste -- both direct results of overpopulation. Wars are mostly fought over ownership issues -- who owns what land, or mineral rights, etc -- or social upheavals, both of which could be scaled back if the population were smaller: there'd be more of everything for everybody, and there'd be fewer people to piss each other off. Now, I'm not so naive as to believe that we could solve the world's problems simply by curbing population growth, or that we could somehow reverse population growth and someday have fewer people on the earth -- I know that won't happen. But if I can avoid contributing to overpopulation, I will. There are lots of kids out there without families -- why should I make yet another one and add to our ecological and social burden?
Which brings me to my second good point about adoption - there are lots of kids who need adopting. If I really want to care for another human being -- to raise, nurture, teach and provide for a child - why should I make one? Shouldn't I help one of the tens or hundreds of thousands of kids in the world who are already here and really, really need those things from me? I think I should.
I wanna make it clear here, though, that I don't begrudge other people having kids of their own, provided they are resposible enough to be good parents to those kids. A lot of my friends are at that place right now - having babies, trying to have babies -- and that is cool. I'm excited to meet little Ariella, and little Daniella, little Kirkella, little Richella and all the rest. But I just feel differently about the child-getting process than they do.
There's another reason I am so turned onto adoption as an option to having a kid of one's own: my mom had a child when she was very young. She did the smart, resposible, caring thing, and gave him up for adoption. So, I have a brother out there who's a few years older than me. I'm glad my ma had the strength to realize she couldn't care for him properly at that time in her life. I'm glad he ended up with what I can only assume were good, loving parents. I think I'd like to help a child, and a mother, in the way my mom and brother were helped. Plus, I have a handful of friends who are adopted, and I think about their parents and the wonderful thing they did, and, if I decide to have kids, I wanna be like that.
Of course, my mind may change someday. Like I said, now is not the time for me, or for Shannon, anyway. And when that time comes, we'll be a little older, and maybe our minds will have changed.
Stay tuned. In a few years (maybe 10), you'll find out how it all turns out.