With traditional pregnancy, parents don't get to choose the gender of their children. However, with adoption many times parents can choose to adopt either a boy or a girl.
The old poem says:
Girls are made of Sugar and Spice
and Everything Nice
Boys are Made of Snips and Snails
and Puppy Dog Tails.
Interestingly enough, most people must prefer Sugar and Spice. Adoption agencies, both domestic and international, report that if given a choice, 75-80% of adoptive parents prefer to adopt girls. More girls are adopted internationally every year than boys. Between 1999-2011, over 60% of children adopted internationally into the United States were girls.
Why the preference for girls? No one is sure exactly why. Perhaps the there is a preference for girls because:
- Many times adoption is driven by the mother, not the father. A hopeful mommy-to-be may be dreaming of a daughter.
- Some people may view girls as vulnerable and needed protection. (My view: All orphans are vulnerable and in need of protection. All children should be raised in a loving family!)
- Girls may be viewed as easier to raise than boys. (Although, the opposite may be true in many cases. I have heard many parents of both boys and girls say that their boys were actually easier to raise. I have also heard that boys are harder during the early childhood years, but girls are harder during the teen years. What do you think?)
- Boys traditionally carry on the family last name. Families may prefer to adopt a girl because they are uncomfortable with an adopted child carrying on the family last name.
Sadly, this preference may lead to many orphans waiting longer for a family or never receiving a family at all. There are more boy orphans waiting to be adopted than girl orphans in every country except China. Even in China, there are many boys waiting to be adopted. Love Without Boundaries created this great video spotlighting the need for boys to be adopted and how great a son can be!
If you have adopted, are adopting, or are considering adoption, would you/did you request a boy or a girl, or no preference? I would love to hear you feed back! Please comment on your preference (or lack of preference) and why.