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By dontcha50 Oct 28, 2013 1069 Words

Although adoption has been frowned upon in the past, today is it more widely accepted, but it is still subject to many social stigmas. While adoption does have its cons, the positive impact of adoption outweighs that of the negative ones. Adoption can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a family’s life. It is a family’s commitment to raising a child and giving them a family. Before considering adoption, one should examine the effects it has on the parents and the child, the amount of children in the system, the ability to adopt within the United States or internationally, and open/closed adoptions. Choosing to adopt a child is a huge deal; it is not something one chooses to do overnight. Many people may think that adoption affects only the parents or the child. What they do not realize is the effects it has on both the parent and the child. When a couple decides they want to adopt they are choosing to change a child’s life for the better. Not only will it benefit the child, but it can benefit the parents as well. They may not be able to have children and even if they do, their own children may learn to appreciate the things they have. This also gives the parents a chance to instill educational values, love, and support that the child would not have experienced otherwise. It is an opportunity to improve their outlook on life and give them a positive future to look forward to. For the couples who are not able to have children, this is their chance to fill in the missing part of their life, while also filling in a part missing from the child’s life as well. The parents may have a fear that when their child reaches a certain age they will question why this happened to them, but that can allow for a stronger bond. By giving the child an explanation, it may cause them to appreciate their lifestyle now as opposed to the one they could be living. The number of children in the foster care system today is overwhelming, adopting a child would aid in decreasing this number. Statistics find that “There are about 382,400 children and youth currently in foster care in the United States. About 104,200 are available for adoption. Each year, about 26,200 youth age out of care, most at age 18” ("Statistics and Data”). It is unfortunate to see children being displaced from home to home and not having any sense of what a family environment actually is. Although many people are opposed to adopting a child for whatever reason, every day children are taken out of their homes or put up for adoption at birth. The numbers just keep getting larger and larger. These children will not experience stability until a loving family adopts them. Not all issues that come with being adopted will be solved, but it can certainly assist with a positive outlook of a child experiencing what society considers a “normal” childhood. Often times there are arguments that adopted children are more likely to rebel and lack self-esteem, but that is solely based on the family which adopts the child. If a family is seeking to adopt, it is by choice. There are incidents where children are adopted into families and abused, but the loving families out there outweigh those types of incidents. Families considering adoption have researched it or have an idea of what they are getting themselves into. Research is highly encouraged before adopting a child, because it is not fair to the child or the parent if adoption is not what they had expected it to be. An often faced dilemma when considering adoption is whether to pursue an international or domestic adoption. “According to the U.S. Department of State (2011), more children were adopted from China (than any other country) in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. This adoption trend was influenced by China's family policy” (Kostina-Ritchey and Fitzpatrick). Many families do not realize that you can adopt overseas, depending on the countries policies. It is not the only choice, but it is an option that can be considered. If creating a multiethnic family is not something the adoptee parents are looking for, considering a domestic adoption could be the more appropriate route. Some families prefer to adopt domestically due to the vast numbers of children within the United States who are foster children and are in need of a good home. For them adopting internationally would not be relevant, and that decision is based on the preference and desires of the parents and/or family. Domestic adoptions generally involve new born children, extensive medical history, and possibly a shorter time period for the adoption to occur. International adoptions involve a waiting list, which could mean more time for the parents to think things through, and the children up for adoption or usually infants or older children. It is up to the family depending on their willingness to wait and what they are expecting to get out of their experience. Lastly, the final aspect a family should examine before choosing to adopt is rather they want an open or closed adoption. Many families do not even know the difference or what is required of the family when making that decision. Open adoption is when both the birthparents and the adopters know each other’s first and last name. They can openly share photos, contact one another, and meet up without an agency being the middleman. It is solely based on the agreement between the adopters and the birthparents. Some benefits of an open adoption are the child will not have to search for their biological parents, the child will have a positive relationship with the birthparents, and the parents gain an “extended family”. In a closed adoption neither the adopters nor the birthparents know each and will never meet. It does not mean they do not know something about it each other, but they only communicate through a middleman, which is usually an attorney or an agency. While both of these types of adoption are based solely on the preference of the parents, both options should be considered and fully researched. The key to making a successful decision between open and closed adoption is knowing what level of openness is expected of the adopters, and being comfortable with any future obligations before committing to an adoption.

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