National Adoption Month: The Future of Adoption

It’s National Adoption Month again. In honor of this “event,” I’m starting a new series called “The Future of Adoption.” In this series, I’d like to explore what adoption can and should look like in the future. I’ll also make suggestions on how we can get there. I’m not a social work, law-maker, or adult adoptee, so I certainly can’t claim to be an expert on the topic. So, if you are an expert, please feel free to kindly correct my misconceptions. And, even if you’re not an expert, I still want to hear your thoughts.

If you’re a regular reader, you may be sick of me talking about Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control by Heather Forbes and Bryan Post. One of the book’s foundations is that there are only two primary emotions: love and fear. I’d like to build on this idea for “The Future of Adoption” and use it to explain what could be changed in a very broad sense. In future posts, I’ll talk more about specific changes.

What if, in the future, those involved in adoption did not make their choices based on fear?

1. What if pregnant women did not choose adoption based on their fear of being rejected or being an inadequate mother?

2. What if adoptive parents weren’t afraid of their children’s first family?

3. What if adoptive parents and their friends and family (and society as a whole) were not afraid of those who are different? (older children, children of other races, same-sex couples).

4. What if families could stay together because the parents did not make unwise choices based on fear?

I think many people believe about adoption as others believe about abortion: both should be legal, but rare. If we addressed these fears, could we make adoption less common? Could we keep families together? Please share your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll be posting more specific ideas and action items at a later time.


7 thoughts on “National Adoption Month: The Future of Adoption

  1. I am the first parent of a 47-year-old daughter. She was born, as you might have surmised, in 1965, and was adopted almost two months after her birth. There was no real choice involved then, as you already know, about adoptions then. The “choice” was made for me by mother and society. I never felt fear of rejection by society . . . perhaps I was being naive . . . at the time, I lived in mother’s home and felt that I HAD to follow her wishes. I also never felt I would be an “inadequate” parent. I had been preparing all my life to be a mom and knew what it would take to be one. Of course, I would never be the perfect parent, but then, who is?

    I know families who have adopted older kids through the foster care system, who have adopted kids from other races, cultures and countries, and some who are same=sex couples. The kids feel wanted, cared for, respected and loved . . . they do not have to go through the feelings of rejection. I could tell you wonderful stories of these people. None of them were filled with fear over the “differences” in their adoptive families. One adoptive family I know of have also included the first families of the kids they adopted, too, so their extended family is really big, with new babies being born and being loved and shared by all.

    There are families who should not stay together, because the first families have been abusive to their biological kids or because they were very impacted by chemical dependency and /or some difficult mental illnesses, or dually diagnosed. THEN the kids need to go somewhere else where they will be raised with love and not be neglected.There could still be some first family interaction, but I have not really gotten that part figured out. We all need to know who our “tribes” are, even if we think we don’t need to know. We are missing a piece of ourselves if we do not have that information.

    Thank you for your blog for 11 NOV 2012, which I would never have known about, had I not been a regular recipient of Linda Hoye’s blog, “A Slice of Life”. I also want to subscribe to your blog.

    Sara McGibbon DuBois

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