There is an interesting phenomenon in international adoption – the gender divide. For some reason, everyone wants girls. Statistically, 95% of people starting out in international adoption say that they want a girl and roughly 80% will end up adopting a girl, even if it means that they have to wait longer for a girl to be available.
Personally, I don’t understand this trend. From the time that my husband and I began to talk about children, we always wanted our first to be a boy. When we were trying to get pregnant, we both hoped that our child would be a boy and when we decided to adopt, we knew that we would request a boy. However, in the adoption world, things are different. Why the division? What is it about girls that cause them to be in higher demand?
There are several theories:
The Wife Picks the Child
According to some adoption experts, the reason that girls are in higher demand can be explained fairly simply. They say that when choosing the gender of a child is an option, the husband usually will refer to the wife and allow her to make the choice. Most women dream of having a little girl and so they request a girl.
Are Girls Easier to Raise?
Another theory is that people view girls as easier to raise. They see girls as simpler, more innocent, less likely to cause trouble. To a potential adoptive parent who may already be worried about the effect that being adopted may have on their child, the idea of having a girl seems to be a way of avoiding some difficulties of parenting. Studies show that girls are not any easier to raise than girls and that actually some girls have more problems than boys. However, a lot of people don’t understand this and the idea that a girl is easier to raise may influence them as they decide on the gender of their adopted child.
Passing on the Family Name
The last theory about why girls are more desired is much more disturbing. There is also the theory that adoptive parents (either consciously or subconsciously) do not want to have an adopted child carry on the family name. They may feel that this is a privilege that only a biological child should have.
I’m not sure what I think about this last theory. I am less inclined to believe it is true. I suppose that there are some people who may feel this way, but I really think that the first two reasons are much more common.
I would love to hear the opinion of Families.com readers. What do you think? Why do most people want to adopt a girl?