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Adding to the Family

There are two ways to add a child to your family: by giving birth or through adopting. Most couples choose to have a child of their own so that it shares the biological traits of the parents. In some cases, when one parent is unable, the couple might choose a surrogate parent. In other cases -- perhaps because the couple believes that there are too many needy children in the world, they may choose to adopt.

Whichever route you choose, know beforehand that adding a child to your family is more than just having a bundle of joy by your side. The demands of parenthood are tremendous and are not for everyone. Parenting takes time and money: adding a child is a twenty year or more commitment. It also demands skills of the parents. A good parent must be loving yet forceful, a good provider yet available, involved but aware of when to allow a child to venture out on their own.

Being a parent has its rewards, too. You can observe firsthand the physical, emotional, and intellectual growth of your children as they learn to walk, to talk, to read, to love, to experiment, and to become individuals. You can pass on to them your insights into life that they may lead a happy life. You may also be grooming your caretaker for your later years, when you become less independent and more dependent on them. And, you can relish having made a contribution to the world that may continue to renew itself generation after geneartion, long after you have gone.

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