Marcela Bustamante and Esmeralda De La Mora
SW 331 2:00
With 408, 425 children in foster care, the United States is in need of more parents willing to adopt (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). Many parents may be wary of adoption, wondering whether they will feel the connection with the child, or how it may affect them in the long run. According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012), 87% of adopted children parents say they would “definitely” make the same decision to adopt. This paper will provide more information on adoptive parents such as their demographics and statistics, more information on adoptions in other countries and cultures, and a closer look at the factors influencing adoptions. These factors include psychological factors, biological factors and social factors. Lastly, this paper will take a closer look at practices and beliefs influencing adoptive parents, and support systems for adoptive parents.
Adoption Demographics and Statistics
Between the years 1999 and 2011, there have been 233, 934 adoptions in the United States, including California with 16,792 of these adoptions (U.S. Department of State, 2012). According to the U.S. Department of State (2012) California was the top adopting state in the United States from 2007 to 2011. Looking at the number of these adoptions, one may wonder the demographics of the adopting parents. Married couples are the top percent of adoptive family structure, with 70.2%. Next is single females with 22.7%, while single males include 5.5% (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013) According to this same research, 40% of these adoptions are trans racial. While 24% of children are adopted by parents with no prior connection to them, three out of four adoptions are by parents who have some prior experience with or connection to adoption. This includes 35% of adoptions by a parent’s friend, 31% by another relative, and 4% was an adoption by a child’s aunt/uncle (Vandivere, S., Malm, K., and McKlindon, A., 2010).
Adoptions in Other Countries and Cultures
While in the United States adoption is socially accepted, the Middle East has a stigma of adoption (Riley, N.E. and Van Vleet, K.E., 2012). Islamic-influenced states view an important significance in blood ties and for this reason formal adoption is prohibited and a socially problematic form of familial relationship. According to Islamic scripture, children who are taken in by another family cannot inherit from their adoptive parents, under most circumstances cannot take their adopted fathers’ names, and cannot be acknowledged as the children of their adoptive parents. Many parents who do seek to adopt, turn to foster care arrangements, many of which become permanent. These countries have orphanages full of neglected and orphaned children, and with such a large number of orphaned children many of their lives are cut short through neglect and disease (Riley, N.E. and Van Vleet, K.E., 2012).
With overpopulation, China has seen a number of children abandoned, and Americans are doing more to help for these children through intercountry adoptions. 66,630 children were adopted from China within the years of 1999 to 2011. This was the number one adopting country. Russia came in second, with 45,112 adoptions from 1999 to 2011 (U.S. Department of State, 2012). While it is important to care for orphans here in the U.S., it is also important to care for abandoned and orphaned children around the world. Many cultures, such as the Islamic cultures, may see adoption as a problem. These children become neglected; with intercountry adoptions homes are provided to children abroad.
Factors Influencing Adoption/Adoptive Parents
The post adoption period can present many difficulties for adoptive parents. In some cases, adoption-related problems come right after the adoption; in other cases problems...