Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I am a 40-year-old woman and have lived with my sister (six years younger) since we moved out of our parents' house together 14 years ago. We bought a house together years ago and both have very fulfilling lives. Neither of us has had a boyfriend for years. Our focus is on work, family, friends and our dog. Our parents keep giving us a hard time because they want grandchildren. My sister is now pressuring me to consider adopting a baby together. It sounds like a good idea, but I don't see how it would work well. She insists that our lives will just revolve around the child. We both work full-time demanding jobs and we are financially comfortable, but a child adds a lot of expense and time (also, this gives a whole other meaning to "having two mommies"). She suggested it could work the same way we handle our dog, where I am considered Mama and she is Auntie. Obviously, there is a big difference between a dog and a baby. What if my sister ends up meeting the man of her dreams and moves out? Will she then be OK leaving the child behind? It seems like it could turn into a legal nightmare. On the other hand, we are not getting any younger and it would be great if we could give our parents a grandchild. What do you think?--Considering Adoption
DEAR CONSIDERING: Giving your parents a grandchild isn't a good reason to have a baby.
I love the idea of adopting within the family but you and your sister should explore this carefully, thoroughly, and with abundant legal and counseling assistance.
If you decide to move forward, I'd urge you to consider becoming foster parents. According to the National Foster Parent Association, more than 400,000 children are living without permanent families in out-of-home placement. You and your sister (and your parents) might be the ideal family to offer your love and care to a child in need. To learn more, check nfpaonline.org.