Although expensive, the process for adoption is chaotic. Rules governing adoptions change from state to state. In some states, private adoptions are legal; other states ban private adoptions.
In some states the birth mother and adoptive parents must reach a decision within 72 hours after a child’s birth. In other states they have up to one year to sign the papers finalizing the adoption.
Domestic adoption is a viable option for the childless couple, but not always an easy option. The adoption process can involve the overcoming of many bureaucratic hurdles. Experts on adoption have pushed for uniform adoption laws within the United States.
Domestic adoption is sometimes the focus of law suits. At times, a birth couple seeks to regain custody of a child once put up for adoption. Among the 50,000 annual adoptions in the U.S., only 3% lead to a court case. Still, even that small number can make adoptive parents nervous.
If possible, courts like to see an adopted child given parents that share his or her ethnicity. If, for example African American foster parents are caring for an African American child, they will be encouraged to adopt that child.
An open adoption can guarantee a child’s contact with those who share the child’s ethnicity. Of course, not all states allow an open adoption to take place. Still, even with a closed adoption, a child can at some point interact with the biological parents.
Adoption creates deep and lasting bonds between the adopted child and the adoptive parents. Unfortunately, the courts have been slow to recognize those bonds. Yet mental health experts underline the importance of adoptive couples, couples that they term the “psychological parents.”
Within the Unites States, every year sees the appearance of fewer babies in need of adoption. At the same time every year sees an increased desire for adoptable children among childless couples.
At the same time, social agencies have come under pressure to review more closely the adoption requests from childless couples. For that reason, a couple must accept the fact that no domestic adoption is an automatic reality.
A court might well deny an adoption request. Unless a couple pursues an international adoption, the prospective mother and father might need to postpone the chance to hold a loving child in their arms.
For that reason, more and more childless couples are going oversees. More and more of American parents care for a baby that does not share the ethnicity of the parents.
Society has learned that the bonds formed within a loving family can overcome the racial differences between a child and his parents. Pictures of the efforts extended by adoptive parents highlight the strength of the love given to the adopted child.