Adoption and Its Effects

An article by Herman, E. (2011), titled “Adoption History in Brief,” which is posted in the The Social Welfare website says that “During the twentieth century, numbers of adoptions increased dramatically in the United States. In 1900, formalizing adoptive kinship in a court was still very rare. By 1970, the numerical peak of twentieth-century adoption, 175,000 adoptions were finalized annually. “Stranger” or “non-relative” adoptions have predominated over time, and most people equate adoption with families in which parents and children lack genetic ties. Today, however, a majority of children are adopted by natal relatives and step-parents, a development that corresponds to the rise of divorce, remarriage, and long-term cohabitation.” (http://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/programs/child-welfarechild-labor/adoption/)

Establishing a parent-child relationship (through adoption) between two persons not naturally related to each other can be a challenging endeavor, especially if the adoptee is already at a certain age or if the adopting parents have other children. Jealousy and the issue legal rights of everyone, especially of the spouse and biological children (if and when the spouses divorce one another or if one spouse dies), usually set in.

This is because, through adoption, the adopted child acquires all the right and privileges possessed and enjoyed by any member of the family; including becoming an heir in the same family. As regards the adoptee’s biological parents, they lose all their rights over their child as the adopting parents are legally declared the adoptee’s new and rightful parents through adoption. 

Adoption was originally conceived as a means to normalize and give meaning to the union of married, but childless couples. In 1851, however, when the Adoption of Children Act was made a law, adoption assumed the purpose of legal and social operations intended to promote the interest of a child rather than that of the adopting parents. In modern society, couples, whether of opposite or of the same sex, can adopt a child, so long as the court sees them fit to parent a child.

The United States recognizes two types of adoption: closed adoption and open adoption. In closed adoption, the state decides who can adopt a child, legally requiring the biological mother to relinquish her rights (over her child) in the process. Open adoption, is its exact opposite, as this legal procedure allows the birth mother to choose the adopting parents, besides maintaining the right to communicate with, and visit, her child. 

Since states regulate the laws concerning adoption, there is no uniformity as to what is required or considered for a couple, or even a single adult, to be deemed worthy of adopting a child. Often, couples or individuals are confronted by laws and requirements that suddenly make adopting a child a complex procedure.

Raleigh divorce lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC explains that every adoption is unique, based on the family’s circumstances and the type of adoption they choose to pursue. While some couples will naturally choose to adopt an infant, there are cases wherein adopting families choose to adopt a step-child, an adult or even a foreigner.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *