Story by Tatum Spurck 

It’s important for kids to grow up in a loving environment with a parent who supports them, regardless of that parent’s biological relationship to them. Kids all around the World, West students included, are adopted. Adoption gives homes to children in need, and children to parents who either can’t have children of their own, or simply want to adopt.

For Senior Emma Johnson, adoption was necessary to provide a life away from her abusive mother.  Johnson believes if she hadn’t of been taken out of the bad environment she had grown up in, she “would probably be out in the streets with drugs and stealing.” Johnson also believes she would probably have been in jail if she hadn’t of been adopted.  

Junior Nathan Toomey was adopted when he was roughly one year old. He had stayed in foster care for the first year of his life, and says he believes if he hadn’t of been adopted, he would still be in the foster care system, which isn’t always the best.

Toomey says adoption is an important thing, because ¨there’s lots of kids in foster care that would rather not be there.¨

Adoption not only benefits children, but adults seeking to be parents as well. Although Melanie and Paul Bogart, parents to West student Sophomore Maleah Bogart,  already had a biological son, they dreamed of having a daughter, too. After miscarrying several times, adoption seemed to be the best option.

Maleah Bogart was adopted from the Guangdong Province in China when she was just 14 months old. After the incredibly long journey to China, when Melanie saw Maleah for the first time, she cried out of happiness and Paul held her for near 30 minutes and didn’t want to let her go.

Emma Johnson didn’t have the same positive experience when she first met her parents.  Because of Johnson’s background, she was apprehensive to open up because she ¨thought it wouldn’t last.”

Johnson doesn’t feel being adopted affects her relationship with her parents, but she said “we had to work harder at it because at first, there wasn’t that trust that other kids have with their parents.”

Now, Johnson’s relationship with her parents is amazing. ¨We are really close. I feel like I can talk to them about everything. They’re through everything and support me,¨ she said.

With a great relationship with her parents, Johnson said she doesn’t want to contact her biological mother, but wouldn’t mind meeting her dad because in the few times she met him, he was nice to her, and never did anything to harm her.

Bogart says she doesn’t have any desire to meet her biological parents, and she thinks of Paul and Melanie as her true mother and father. ¨I sometimes forget I’m adopted,¨ said Bogart.

Meeting Bogart´s biological parents is not even a legal possibility; “In China you have to have a permit to conceive, a permit to give birth, and once that child is born, you have to have a permit to raise that child,” said Paul Bogart. “[Maleah] was illegally born, so they abandoned her.”

Toomey says he would like to meet his biological mother, ¨just to hear her side of the story.¨

¨At least once or twice a week I think about it. It is just something I ponder,¨ Toomey said.