Adoption Awareness Month

Adoption Awareness Month

Unless you have adopted, or are planning to do so, you may know little about children who need homes. Given that it is adoption awareness month, it seems only appropriate to give some general information about the world of adoption.

According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, there are 1.8 million adopted children in the United States; these children account for 2 percent of all children in the United States. Of those:

• 75 percent were adopted domestically.

• 37 percent through the foster care system.

• 38 percent through private services.

• 25 percent were adopted internationally.

About 75 percent of children are adopted by non-family members while 25 percent are adopted by relatives; seventeen percent of those adopted by relatives are adopted through the foster care system and 37 are adopted through private mediums.

There are several ways to adopt in the United States. One way is through the foster care system. In 2010, there were 107,000 children in the foster care system waiting to be adopted and 53,000 were adopted. The general process is that a state-licensed agency (either for-profit or non-profit) matches prospective parents to children in need of a home. Though substantially cheaper than all other types of adoption, many choose other means of adoption. This is because many people want newborns of a particular race, and foster care adoption houses children of all ages and races. Unfortunately, these children need a home just as much as all other children up for adoption.

A second way to adopt is through a private agency. Private agencies act as intermediaries between children and prospective parents in the matching process. Many choose this medium because the agency guides parents through the entire adoption process.

A third way to adopt is independently, i.e. privately. It is legal in most states, though Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts do not allow it; the laws surrounding independent adoption vary from state-to-state. This process involves prospective parents independently seeking out biological parents who have put their child up for adoption; lawyers are used as intermediaries. Many choose this means of adoption because agencies have policies regarding parent-criteria and prospective parent-biological parent contact both during and after the adoption. Independent adoption allows both prospective parents and biological parents to set their own criteria. Prospective parents control the search process and have direct contact with the biological parents; both parties also decide if the child will have contact with the biological parents after the adoption process is finalized.

A fourth way to adopt is internationally. China, Russia, Guatemala, Korea, and Ethiopia are common countries from which children are adopted; however, about 80 other countries around the world adopt out children to parents from different countries. In 2010, over 11,000 children were adopted from other countries. Generally, parents use adoption services similar to domestic adoption services. Many choose to adopt internationally to help children in desperate situations; many times, children are undernourished, under-educated, or have disabilities. Others choose this process because, depending on country, it can be less costly.

Amber Paley is a guest post and article writer bringing to us information and statistics on child adoptions.  Amber also writes about abuse in nursing homes.
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I Wish Mine Was Happy

Some of you may know that my best friend is pregnant with her first baby.  I am so excited for her and happy that she is finally getting the family she has wanted for so long so please don’t take this post the wrong way.  When I see how happy she is I wish I could have felt that happiness when I was pregnant.  From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew that she wasn’t meant for me and that I was going to place her for adoption.  I never got to be excited that I was pregnant.  I see women that are so excited and I wish that my pregnancy could have been like that.  I was so sad the whole time because I knew what the end out come as going to be.  It is hard to explain what it is like being pregnant and knowing that after you give birth that you are going to walk away and place your child with another family.  I also wonder if it would be harder to place a child for adoption if you didn’t know from the start that is what you were going to do.  I don’t regret placing her for adoption but I wish things were different while I was pregnant.

I have been thinking about volunteering to help out other birth moms that have placed their children or are going to be placing them.   While I was pregnant I attended a support group that was held at the agency I went through.  I went through a agency that is run by a church and I think there need to be more groups for birth moms to go.  I know that some people wouldn’t be comfortable attending the group I did because of the ties to the church.  I just see such a need for birth moms to have a place to go and take to others who know how they feel.

People see how I am now and get frustrated because they aren’t were I am.  What they don’t understand is my daughter is now 6 years old and I have had people to talk to about it all.  Now that being said people don’t know that I can’t look at her baby pictures because they make me cry.  I have her pictures when she is older framed and on my walls but I can’t bring out her baby pictures because they make me sad.  I am sorry this post is all over but I have been thinking a lot about adoption lately and I hope I can find a way to help other birth moms.