Millions of Americans have adoption in their immediate family and it is estimated that one in every 3-4 Americans is intimately connected to adoption.
In addition, adoption touches many millions more occasionally or indirectly: the doctors, social workers, lawyers and teachers who deal with adoptive families and the friends, neighbors, colleagues, and
classmates of the adopting family and adoptee. It may not be an exaggeration to say that adoption touches just about everybody.
Adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the biological parents of the child. Adoption
results in the severing of the parental responsibilities and rights of the biological parents and the placing of those responsibilities and rights onto the adoptive parents. After the
finalization of an adoption, there is little or no legal difference between biological and adopted children.
Adoptions occur for many reasons. Many children are placed for adoption as a result of the biological parents' decision that they are unable to adequately care for a child while in other
cases the biological parents involuntarily lose their parental rights.
The main reason for adopting varies from one family to the next and from one country to the next, depending largely on social and legal structure of the country. The inability to reproduce
biologically is the most common reason for adopting. Other reasons include the concern of passing on inheritable diseases, health concerns relating to pregnancy and childbirth, and/or
the absence of a partner of the opposite sex or a lack of desire to use a surrogate or sperm donor.
Different Kinds of Adoptions
There are many different kinds of adoptions.
The primary distinctions are between private or agency adoptions, open or closed adoptions, and domestic or international adoptions.
A private adoption is arranged through an individual (often an attorney
or a physician) or an adoption facilitator. These kinds of adoptions are extremely risky. Without
a licensed adoption agency supervising the process, adoption can be a nightmare. When you read horror stories in the news, these are most likely private adoptions. You might think that
your minister, lawyer, counselor, doctor, or friend has your best interest at heart; but based on almost 40 years of experience and after helping hundreds of people get out of horrible
situations. I strongly recommend you proceed only with a licensed agency.
An agency adoption is arranged through an adoption agency. The most important factor in selecting an agency is that they have met the requirements of your state and are fully licensed to provide you with a full range of professional
services. To check if an agency or organization is licensed, contact them and ask for their license number and the phone number of the licensing authority. Then call the authority and
confirm that the information given to you is correct. Ask the licensing authority if there are any irregularities in the agency's history. Every state has a state
licensing authority and each one will be glad to answer your questions. Agencies can be profit or non-profit, public or private; the most critical factor being whether or not they
In a closed adoption, birth parents and adopting families are anonymous. While many
details may be shared, no identifying information (such as last name, addresses, social security numbers, etc.) is exchanged. The birth parents and adopting family can meet, share pictures
and updates, and have ongoing contact through the agency, but they do not share last names and addresses. In an open
adoption, biological and adopting parents exchange identifying information and are then able, if they so choose, to be in contact with one another directly.
In an intrastate adoption, the birth parent and adopting family live in the
same state. In an interstate adoption, the birth parent and adopting family live in different
states. In an international adoption, the birth parent and adopting family live in different
A birth mother desiring to place her child for adoption or a single
person or couple interested in adoption should contact a licensed adoption agency or you can contact me and I will help. If you or
your adopted child is having problems as a result of an adoption, a psychologist with adoption experience should be able to help.
Would You Like Personal Assistance?
Adoption can bring with it adjustment issue for the birth mother, birth father, adoptive parents and for the adoptee. Charting a course among the various
schools of thought about openness, maintaining a child's connection to his or her family of origin, answering a child's difficult questions, helping a child deal with birth parents who may not maintain
regular contact, and dealing with adoption issues in general, are all issues that birth parents as well as adoptive families and the adoptee may struggle with.
For over 40 years, I have been helping birth parents and families and has provided therapy and counseling to all parties involved in the adoption process. In my role as the Director of a not-for-profit agency I have helped literally thousand of birth mothers, birth fathers, and
adopting families navigate their way through the complicated adoption process.
Click on the link "Contact me ".
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