If you are considering adopting, there are some things you should consider before moving on with the process. The first step to adopting is knowing the history. Adoption was first legalized in the United States in 1850. Massachusetts was the primary state to adopt a law that would benefit child welfare rather than adult interests. This was known as the Adoption of Children's Act. This Act ensured that the people adopting the children were fit to do so. Before 1851, families adopted children in secret. This was so the children could avoid the stigma of being called illegitimate. Many single mothers were faced with social threats causing them to give up their children to protect themselves and their kids.
Giving up a child for adoption also occurred for other reasons, such as illness and lack of income. Sadly, not all of the secret adoptions were performed out of love. Before the Adoption of Children's Act, people would adopt children for labor and profit. Sometimes these children were adopted so young that they never even knew they were adopted.
During the Baby Scoop Era, which occurred after World War II, many women who lost their husbands in the war were persuaded on the idea to give up their children for adoption to avoid the stigma of being a single mother. About 175,000 children were placed into adoption at this time. This massive increase in adoptions caused an adoptions rights movement to begin. One well-known group, called Bastard Nation, helped advocate for anyone over 18 to access their adoption records. This, in turn, sparked the idea of open adoption.
Open adoption is where the birth parents and adoptive parents can communicate throughout the adoptive child's life. Open adoption has now become the more normalized route when it comes to adopting. In fact, about 95% of adoptions are now open adoptions. But why are open adoptions so popular? Researchers have found that the children who are placed in open adoptions tend to do better mentally. A lot of adopted children always wonder why they were placed for adoption. When children are placed in an open adoption, they can ask their birth parents that big question. Having this opportunity allows the adopted child to avoid the feeling of being unwanted. Not only that, but open adoptions will allow the child to create a better sense of identity by being able to learn about their heritage and ancestors. Open adoptions also give the child more support compared to non-adopted children. They would have more adults in their life to help guide them. Lastly, the child will have access to their birth parents' medical history. For example, if the birth mother has a history of cancer, it would be good for the adoptive parents to have their child frequently checked every couple of years for signs of cancer.
History of Transracial Adoption
Now let's get into the history of transracial adoption. Transracial adoptions first started in 1948, when a white couple adopted an African American child. Back in the day, most adoption agencies recommended people get a child that matched their race. There is still a discussion today on transracial adoptions. The adoption of Native American children by white couples received a lot of backlashes too. Native American activists were extremely unhappy with this setup. This was because the white couples were not teaching the adopted Native American children about their heritage. This uproar caused Congress to pass the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978. This Act was meant to keep Indian children within Indian families. If anyone does decide to adopt a child of a different race, they should look at the plethora of resources out there on helping parents raise a child from another race.
Following World War II, people were surprisingly still concerned with Eugenics. Potential adopters were looking for high-quality traits in their adoptive children. And at the time, adoptable traits often meant being white and having no sort of disability. But by the 1960s, adoption agencies tried to help as many children as they could get homes, even nonwhite children and children with disabilities. Eventually, through education and an increase in resources, more people were drawn to adopt children that differed from the norm.
International Adoption and LGBTQ+ Rights to Adopt
International adoption was not really a thing until after World War II as well. Christians found it to be their religious duty to Americanize the foreign children. But many of these families received backlashes because the adoptive parents were not visiting their potential child's native country. But in 1993, an agreement was made referred to as The Hague Convention that means all adoptive parents must go through the Convention process if adopting an international child. But due to stricter laws on interracial adoption have caused this form of international adoption to decline.
People from the LGBTQ+ community were not allowed to adopt until 2015 due to the Obergefell v. Hodges case. This case allowed same-sex couples to marry in the United States. This case also allowed same-sex couples to adopt children as well. However, members of the LGBTQ+ community still get discriminated against as some states pass anti-LGBTQ+ bills due to religious freedom.
Closed Adoption and How GladiKnow Can Help You Find Your Birth Parents
Closed adoption is when adoptive parents and adoptive children can not contact the birth parents. But luckily for you, if you were placed in a closed adoption, there are ways to find out information on your birth parents using advanced people search engines. GladiKnow is a great advanced people search engine that can help you find anyone in the United States. Their reports are 100% confidential and will appear instantly. Their reports will include your birth parents' name, home address, address history, email, phone numbers, social media accounts, relatives' names, and even criminal records, liens and judgments, bankruptcies, and so much more. For more information on people's search engines, check out this link.
Now that you are equipped with a good amount of information on adoption history, you may be able to really narrow down if this is the right path for you and how you will go about it. It is such an honor to care for a child, but make sure you understand your child's background and respect the Acts and Bills made to keep these children safe and educated on their heritage.
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