In a recent report, NPR explored how the Internet is changing adoption. The reporter interviewed a prospective adoptive couple, a traditional agency, and a non-profit to learn more about this trend. Apparently online agencies are often unlicensed and make improbable claims such as the one mentioned in the title of this post. The report clearly makes the claim that online agencies are a big problem. But, it’s obvious that online agencies aren’t the only problem.
In my opinion, the whole system is an issue. For example, the commoditization of babies doesn’t help. The prospective parents that were interviewed began to seek a birth mother online after they learned that their wait through a traditional agency would be longer than three years. Here’s how they described their efforts to become parents:”Essentially, we’re just putting together this marketing campaign to sell ourselves to a birth parent.”
Of course, traditional agencies aren’t innocent in this commoditization earlier. The report described one traditional agency this way: “the brick-and-mortar agency in Maryland that’s lost business to Internet providers.” Why is adoption considered a business?
I think that many people choose a baby over an older child due to their fears about the “issues” that older children supposedly bring with them. In a previous post, “The Future of Adoption,” I wrote that I think adoption can be changed (in part) by dispelling people’s fears about the unknown and the different. If you’ve never consider foster care, or adopting through foster care, please check out this “Debunking the Myth” document that shares some of the facts about foster care.