Bryan Caplan thinks that "that adoption is a noble, generous act, and admire those who do it" but he personally doesn't want to adopt. Jason Kuznicki is offended. Tyler Cowen is confused:
I think Bryan understands the selfish reasons for having children differently than I do, though I will defer to his own statement of his view. I put a big stress on how children help you see that a lot of your immediate concerns aren't nearly as important as you might think, and how spending time with children brings you closer to -- apologies, super-corny phrases on the way -- The Great Circle of Being and The Elemental Life Force. In some (not all) ways, adopted children may be teaching you those lessons more effectively than do biological children. It's an oversimplification to say that "children make you a better person," but they do, or should, improve your ability to psychologically and emotionally integrate that a) you want lots of stuff, b) what you end up getting remains, no matter what, ridiculously small and inconsequential, and c) you can't control your life nearly as much as you think.I would sooner say that these realizations are gifts which children give to us rather than calling them "selfish reasons" to have children.