Let’s get one thing straight: adoption is wonderful.

Birth parents can rest easier knowing the child they aren’t able to care for is being raised in a safe and loving home. Adoptees are given opportunities they may not have been able to have otherwise. Adoptive parents get to raise and love a child. Everyone in the adoption triad can benefit when adoptions are open, honest and loving.

The majority of our readers are adoptive parents. For them, nothing will ever compare to meeting their child for the first time.

But even something as beautiful as being a parent has its ups and downs, as every parent will affirm. Adoption is no different. Not every single second of the adoption process is full of butterflies and rainbows, and it’s alright to admit it!

So excuse the childish language. But sometimes there’s just no other word for it. Here are six moments when adoption can really suck for those who’re in the process of adopting a child*:

(**Stay tuned for our articles on “Times When Adoption Can Suck for Birth Parents” and “Times When Adoption Can Suck for Adoptees.”)

1. Paperwork

Of course it’s all for a greater purpose. Of course it’ll all be worth it in the end. But filling out the forms, filing the requests and checking the boxes takes hours and hours. There always seems to be one more document to send in. It seems silly but… it’s so tedious.

2. Cost

Adoption can be costly. Good adoption agencies will show you where the fees are going so you can see how each dime is directly helping your adoption process. But that doesn’t make it sting any less when you look at your budget. American Adoptions works hard to minimize costs and help every adoptive parent to adopt within their budget. There are financing resources that hopeful adoptive parents can utilize. But the cost of adoption can really suck.

3. Waiting

For many hopeful parents, they feel like they’ve already waited forever to become parents, especially if they’ve had to deal with the heartbreak of infertility. Once you’ve completed all the preliminary steps of the early adoption process, all that’s left to do is wait to be selected for an adoption opportunity with an expectant mother considering adoption. This can take a few weeks or a few months. Regardless, it’s often frustrating and nerve-wracking to relinquish control of the process.

4. Disruptions

It’s rare, but it can happen. A woman who was previously committed to adoption ultimately decides to parent her child. You understand, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. She feels guilty for changing her decision, even though she knows she’s perfectly within her rights to do so. You feel grief and disappointment, even though you know another adoption opportunity will present itself. It still sucks all around.

5. Ignorance

It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. A kid in your child’s class will make some offhanded joke about adoption. Someone will “compliment” you on how much you and your child look alike. Someone will reveal their ignorance about transracial or foster care adoption in front of your child with a misguided comment. This is an opportunity to educate others about adoption. But it hurts a bit; for your child and on behalf of your child’s birth family.

6. Misrepresentation

Throughout your child’s life, there will be moments when they see adoption misrepresented in books, TV, film or everyday references. You’ll both feel a bit frustrated and a little hurt. They’ll see orphans used as plot devices or the classic adopted-by-an-evil-family-member storyline and so on. It’s a great chance to talk about adoption and reinforce adoption-positive attitudes. It can still suck.

For Every 1 Moment that Adoption Sucks, There Are 100 Moments that Adoption is Beautiful

Raising children has its moments that make you want to scream. The same is true for the adoption process and raising adopted children. But for every time that being a parent sucks, there are so many more moments that remind you it’s the best job in the world.

It’s ok to acknowledge that there are pieces of adoption (and parenting in general) that are less-than-sunshine and daisies. Anyone whose life has been touched by adoption knows that the benefits are so much greater than any of the fleeting moments of struggle that come with being a parent.

Adoptive parents certainly aren’t the only members of the adoption triad to experience their fair share of ups and downs during the adoption process! Stay tuned for our articles on “Times When Adoption Can Suck for Birth Parents” and “Time When Adoption Can Sucks for Adoptees.”