Making the decision to start a family is a huge one, and proper planning is essential. For many people, the planning process can begin with the decision as to whether or not adoption is the best route to go. For those trying to decide whether adoption or natural birth is the best option, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of both.

Skipping the Pregnancy

For some women, having the ability to skip the pregnancy stage and go straight to motherhood is reason enough to adopt. For other parents, the doctor's appointments, swollen feet and midnight cravings are an essential part of the experience. For those parents who would feel less of a connection to their child without the bond of pregnancy, adoption is not for you. Women who cannot have children or wish to have one without ever having to carry a child in their body may want to consider the adoption option.

Make a Difference in a Child's Life

According to, there are more than 120,000 American children awaiting adoption in the United States and it would take less than 1 percent of the American population to provide a permanent home for every one of these kids. Adoption cannot give parents the pleasure of growing and nurturing a baby before birth, but it can give parents the pleasure that goes along with making a huge difference in the life of a child that needs you. Adopting a child can allow you to provide a family for a child who has been living their life unsure as to whether or not they will ever have one of their own.

You Can Skip the Infant Stage

For some parents, the infant stage is the best part of a child's development. Other parents can't wait until their child is old enough to walk, talk and interact with them. This is a matter of preference. If you like kids but aren't especially fond of the infant stage, adoption might be a worthwhile consideration for your family. Children of all ages are available for adoption, from newborns to teenagers.

Time and Costs of Adoption

When weighing the pros and cons of adoption, it is important to consider the time and costs involved with adopting a child. "When prospective parents ask how long an adoption will take, agencies often quote an average of one to two years," says Michelle Marchetti of Smart Money Magazine in her article entitled "10 Things Adoption Agencies Won't Tell You." She goes on to say that it can take even longer, and that there are a number of steps the agency must go through before they can grant an adoption 1. The cost of adoption--anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000--is also an important consideration when weighing your options.

Sometimes Adoption is the Best Choice

For some people, adoption is the only option for starting a family outside of costly and uncomfortable fertility treatments. The option to adopt a child can be a blessing to those who are unable to conceive children of their own. While biological children might be what some families had originally imagined, many find that adopted children can easily find an equally special place in a parent's heart.