The Problems with Adoption
The idea of adoption has always been portrayed as a savior for many birth parents that cannot take good care of their children. The idea that parents are able to give their children away and never take full responsibility for their actions has saved many people in our society today. This idea of adoption has always had a good impression in the American society and has been carefully depicted as some sort of rescue act to the irresponsible and indolent citizens of our country. Some see adoption as the easy way of getting out of raising a child, but much more comes along with it. There are many laws and rules that must always be obeyed and of course the emotional stress of the parents and the children. I personally agree with the idea of adoption, but I also think it has its fallbacks. Even though most people would love to think that adoption is always a good idea and that it helps society, sometimes that is not always the case. I love the idea that even though some parents made a mistake and feel they cannot raise a child, they can still give the child a fair chance to be raised in a good home. However, when correct procedures and laws are not followed, resulting in an innocent child having to live in a horrible home, I can see why some people would see adoption as a problem and not a solution.
When someone is deciding to adopt, there are laws that must be abided by. Any person who has the right of consent to a child may place that child for adoption (Statutes: Parties, 2). This consent means the agreement by a parent or agency to give up a child for adoption and to release all the rights in dealing with that child. This is a very important role in the adoption process. By signing a consent form, the birth parents have given up all the rights they have towards their child. The birth mother and birth father have the primary consent to adoption of their child, but if the birth parents fail to be available to consent, the responsibility then goes to legal entities; an agency which has custody of the child, any person who has been given custody, a guardian or guardian ad litem, a close relative of the child, or best friend of the child appointed by court (Statutes: Consent, 1). Once a child reaches a certain age they are able to give consent for their adoption on their own. This age differs in each state and mostly starts around 12 years of age and can range to about 14. Birth fathers can execute consent at any time and birth mothers can execute only after the birth of the child (Statutes: Consent, 2). A written statement that is signed and notarized by a notary public can execute consent or a hearing in front of a judge might be mandatory for consent to be executed (Statutes: Consent, 2). Age has no limit in the process of consent. People of all ages are treated the same and follow the same laws. Without the consent to adopt from birth parents or the children themselves, the adoption process cannot even begin and no child can be adopted. I believe that this is an important role in the process of adoption. Without consent one cannot be adopted, and therefore no one is put in a place where they are not wanted or do not belong.
When any person decides to adopt, they must first contact an adoption agency. These agencies are set up to make sure that the procedures of adoption are followed correctly and to help find the best suitable home for every child. Most states have and allow adoption to take place in “non-agencies” or private or independent agencies. The process of “direct placement” is one type of private adoption and the child is placed with an adoptive family by the birth parent (Statues: Parties, 2). For an adoption to actually happen, a child has to be apart of some kind of agency or be placed in a home for people to adopt. In every state there are laws that state who is eligible to adopt and who can be adopted (Statutes: Parties, 1). Most everyone is able to adopt; male or female; married or not married; heterosexual or homosexual. A stepparent is also able to adopt the birth child of his or her spouse (Statutes: Parties, 1). I agree with this concept that anyone is able to adopt and I believe that all people should have a fair chance to be eligible to adopt, even if they happen to be homosexual. In the article American Academy of Pediatics, Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption of Same- Sex Parents it is stated that, “ Denying legal parent status through adoption to coparents or second parents prevents these children from enjoying the psychologic and legal security that comes from having 2 willing, capable, and loving parents.”(339). I strongly agree with this statement and believe that growing up in a caring household with two loving parents, heterosexual or homosexual, would always have a greater outcome then growing up in a insensitive and hateful home with two parents that do not love their child.
Just like any other legal action, the adoption process does have fees and expenses that are expected to be paid. It varies from state to state but most have set fees and expenses that adoptive parents are to pay and that are passed in statutes. The expenses mentioned in the statutes are placement costs, agency fees, legal and attorney expenses for adoptive and birth parents, and some of the expenses of the birth mother during her pregnancy (Statutes: Regulation, 1). There are some fees that are not expected to be paid like educational expenses, vehicles, vacations, or permanent housing (Statutes: Regulation, 1). Each state regulated the amount of money that is paid towards the adoption, whether it is to the birth mother or any type of fees owed. The use of statutes makes sure that this amount is reasonable and that appropriate services are provided. If a child is to be legally adopted, the biological parents give up their parental rights and the adoptive parents are not in charge of these court costs and when the child is adopted, the court states the new relationship of the child and the new adoptive parents (Adoption Expenses, 1). I agree with the fact that some expenses must be paid in order for an adoption to take place. I do not agree with the fact that agencies or the people awaiting to adopt have to pay for most of these expenses. I strongly disagree with the idea that the expenses of the birth mother have to be paid until the birth of her child. The fact is that the mother is the one with the child and she should have to continue to pay everything that it takes for her to have a natural healthy birth. This includes doctor’s appointments all the way to attorney’s fees. The way I see it is that the birth mother is the person who is deciding to give her child up for adoption and it is not fair for the person that is adopting to have to pay the fees and expenses to a mother that is giving her child away and will have to pay no expenses through the rest of their child’s life.
An intermediary is someone who comes between and mediates a potential adoptive parent with a birth mother that wants to give her child up for adoption. An intermediary is used in an independent adoption and is used to make sure that the placement of the adoptive child is appropriate and the child is not placed in a bad home or environment. Many states have passed statutes that restrict the activities of intermediaries (Statutes: Regulation, 2). These statutes forbid payments for a child and the amount of money that an intermediary is able to collect is limited. No matter what type of agency makes the adoption, the court has to review all the expenses that were paid during the adoption and birth process. The accounting shown to the court can be in the form of a sworn statement or affidavit that states the amount of money spent and what it was spent on (Statutes: Regulation, 3). The court can deny these expenses if they find them irrational or pointless.
The place wear the adopted children live may not be a satisfying and sufficient home. Everyone has seen or watched movies where it has children living in an orphanage or foster homes. The authority figures treat the children horribly and act as if they do not matter. What if these living conditions are what really go on in today’s adoption? You could easily imagine that an over populated home would drive an authority figure mad and maybe force them to turn to violence because of the overpopulated home. In return, the authority figure takes out their stress on the children. This is how some homes turn into abusive homes and are not safe for children to live in.
A major fallback of an adoption process would be the time it takes to adopt a child. The waiting period takes a while for adoption. The time frame, like the cost, varies with the type of child being adopted. The wait is typically between two and seven years for a healthy infant (adopt.org, 2). Children with special needs can often be adopted quickly, within a few months, if the prospective family has a completed home study. There are several processes that you have to go through such as the home study process.
A home study is a series of meetings with a social worker to provide more in-depth information about adoption and help prepare an applicant for parenting an adopted child. Social workers want to be sure that a person or couple can provide a safe and nurturing environment for a new child in their home. The home study process varies from agency to agency. Some conduct individual and joint interviews with a husband and wife; others conduct group home studies with several families at one time. Most ask applicants to provide written information about themselves and their life experiences. The home study takes a while also. This varies depending on the agency's requirements and on the number of families applying for children. Agencies are eager to place children in appropriate families as quickly as possible, and families who are interested in children with special needs are usually given prompt attention. During this entire process people wonder where the children are living. Most children who are waiting for permanent families in the United States (those with special needs) live in foster or group homes because their parents were unable to care for them. Often, personal and family problems made it impossible for the parents to maintain a home for their children. Some of these children have been abused, neglected or abandoned (adopt.org, 3). The differences of the foster home care and the adoption process would be that foster care is meant to be temporary shelter for a child; generally the plan is for the parents to take their child back when they are able. If that fails, the child is made available for adoption and becomes a legal member of a family other than his/her biological one.
Once a child has been adopted it does not necessarily mean that the child is in good hands. What if the parents go through the entire process of adoption, but then turn out to be terrible parents? This problem probably occurs more likely than what people think. Once a child is adopted, one would think the child is being sent to a better place, but in reality may actually be living in conditions that are worse.
Let’s look at another perspective of the adoption process. How do the children feel about being adopted? Have you ever wondered how the children feel to have their mothers and fathers give them away to someone else? I would think that this process of adoption would be traumatic to the child. Once these children realize that their biological parents are not coming back, the sense of loneliness and abandonment might overtake them. I believe that there are so many children in the adoption agencies that they cannot care for the children appropriately and there might be problems that will effect how the children grow up and the person they become.
The adoption process has many flaws. The living conditions, the correct nurturing in the adoption homes, the time it takes for a child to be adopted, and to whether or not the child that is adopted is in good hands. Nobody knows for sure unless they have experienced or work at an adoption place if the conditions are law abiding. You have to also think about the kids, and what they need. I feel like the kids that are in adoption homes are more neglected than if they were in a normal family. Adoption homes are good to have, but the flaws that are involved in the system are just to great to just let go unspoken about.
“Adoption and Safe Families Act.” Adoption Library. November 19, 1997. adoption.com. 14 March 2004<http://laws.adoption_and_safe_families_act.php.
“Adoption Expenses-Attorney and Court Costs.”Adoption Library. December 31, 1999. adoption.com. 14 March 2004<http://library.adoption.com/subsides/Adoption-Expenses-Attorney-and-Court-Costs/article
“Co-Parent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents.” PEDIATRICS Vol.109 No.2 February 2002. Galileo. Odum Library. Valdosta, GA. 10 March 2004<http://www.galileo.com.
Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption (FAQ). 30 August 2002. National Adoption Center. 19 April, 2004<http://adopt.org/wednesdayschild.home.faq-page.htm.
“Statutes at a Glance:Consent to Adoption.” Adoption Library. Decmeber 31, 1999. adoption.com. 14 March 2004<http://laws.adoption.com/statutes at_a_glance_ consent_to.php.
“Statutes at a Glance: Parties to an Adoption.” Adoption Library. December 31, 1999. adoption.com. 14 March 2004<http://laws.adoption.com/statutes_at_a_glance_parties _to_an.php.
“Statutes at a Glance:State Regulation of Adoption Expenses.” Adoption Library. adoption.com. 14 March 2004<http://laws.adoption.com/statutes_at_a_glance_ state_regulation_of.php.