Being married, I have of late been coming across the dilemma of whether to have a child or not and if yes, if a biological child or not (which by itself may be another question which I may ask separately).
So, when I ponder on the subject, I get the thought if it may be more meaningful to adopt an orphaned child instead of having a biological child. But again, although at the surface adoption appears to be an altruistic and more meaningful thought, if I think deeper, I really wonder if the desires as a result of which I would want to have a biological child (and which I want to avoid) are pretty much the same as those which want me to adopt one. Additionally, adopting a child has its own administrative and emotional complications, which may result in unhappy experiences and which may therefore defeat the entire purpose.
So, I thought it may help me build a perspective on the subject, if I come to know what is the opinion on child adoption with regard to the Buddha's teachings. So, my questions are:-
- Is there any mention of the merits/ demrits of adoption in the Tipitika or any other Buddhist writings?
- Is there any incident from during the life of the Buddha in which child adoption was involved?
Would it help to strengthen one's ethics by adopting a child?
How can we compare or weigh the merits of dana to several orphan children vs adopting and nurturing one?