Woman Shares 'Reasons Why You Shouldn't Adopt,' Sparking Debate

A TikTok video is drawing praise and attention for instructing people with certain ideologies to adopt—and those without, to avoid adoption.

The video, posted Tuesday by user Tory Bae, has 1.3 million views and is titled, "Reasons why you shouldn't adopt." Bae writes that her video aims to explain "the bare minimum of what an adoptive parent should be doing."

On her website, she describes herself "as a transnational, transracial adoptee from South Korea and a foster parent" who is also "an advocate for family preservation."

"You should not adopt if you don't believe that adoption is trauma," Bae said in the video. "You should not adopt if you're using adoption as a family planning tool."

"Adoption is for children that need families in permanency, not for families that need children," she added. "Parenting is a privilege, not a right."

Other reasons she mentions for those who may be considering adoption but maybe should not go through with it included: "saving" a child and giving them a better life; adopting "because God told you to do so"; using it as a solution or alternative to abortion; and not having the access and means for therapy.

You should not adopt if you don't believe that adoption is trauma. You should not adopt if you're using adoption as a family planning tool.
Tory Bae

Bae also said that individuals who are not "anti-racist" or proponents of the LGBT community should not adopt. She also stressed the difference between adoption through the privatized system and that of the foster care system, saying they are "different" and "cannot be compared."

Adoption Numbers

Adoption may seem straightforward across the board due to bringing in a child and nurturing them, but as the website Verywell Family explained, there is a difference between general adoption and the foster care system.

"Adoption is permanent," the website states. "It's a legally binding relationship, bestowing on the adopted child all the rights and privileges that a biological child would enjoy. Adoptive parents are the child's parents forever, just as if they had given birth to him themselves."

The Adoption Network reports that 2 percent of Americans at most have adopted children, or about one of out every 25 U.S. families, and half of those families have both biological and adopted children.

There are about 7 million total adopted children nationwide and 140,000 reportedly adopted annually. International adoptions decreased rapidly between 2007 and 2011, resulting from more restrictive policies.

Data published in October 2020 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and Children's Bureau showed about a 16,000-person increase in terms of adoptions of foster children between fiscal years 2011 and 2019.

And between fiscal years 2012 and 2017, the number of children in foster care increased every one of those years—including an 11 percent increase when comparing those two years specifically.

How TikTokers Reacted

Responses to the video were mixed. Some, like one woman who was adopted, expressed her happiness that she was placed in a positive situation.

"I'm sorry people had terrible experiences," the woman commented. "I am blessed to have been adopted! My mom is the best mom and I've never felt different."

Another user commented that such advice should be evergreen for parenting, to which Bae responded that biological parents don't have maternal separation with their children.

I am blessed to have been adopted! My mom is the best mom and I've never felt different.
TikTok commenter

"It sounds like you don't think anybody should adopt," one user told Bae.

"As a foster parent, if you can't support reunification or kinship placement, do NOT foster," another user regarding foster care. "They are not 'cheap adoption' options."

"God told my dad to adopt my twin brother and I when he was 21 and single and we were 7," said one user who was thanked by Bae for sharing his story. "Whatever judge that let that go through should lose their job."

Newsweek reached out to Bae for comment.

She's not the only person to speak out in regard to adoption.

One of the nation's largest adoption firms believes an adopted child should have the same skin color as their adoptive parents, an idea that doesn't sit well with some.

Another adoption agency doesn't adopt children to families of different religions, and one Jewish couple sued.

"It was the first time I felt discriminated against because I am Jewish. It was very shocking. And it was very hurtful that the agency seemed to think that a child would be better off in state custody than with a loving family like us."

And Catholic adoption agencies in Michigan are denying same-sex couples from adopting children.

Adoption
A video posted Tuesday has 1.3 million views and is titled, "Reasons why you shouldn't adopt." Above, a same-sex couple holds their adopted daughter. iStock/Getty Images