Thursday, March 31, 2011

Domestic Adoption

It seems like international adoption has become somewhat of a status symbol among the non-profit and Christian world, along with Toms Shoes and mission trips. But what a lot of people are forgetting is that there is a real need for adoption even in our own country, and while it might not be as "cool" as international adoption, it's just as necessary. Not only is it necessary, but it is quietly happening all across the country while the international baby campaign sits center stage. I in no way intend to demean or diminish international adoption, children from countries other than the US desperately need a home and a heart to love them. I simply aim to shine a little light on our very own orphans living within our 50 state.

  • 581,000 children are in foster care in the United States. 22% percent of these children -- about 127,000 kids -- are available for adoption.
  • 135,000 children are adopted annually; only 12,753 of those are international children. 13,000-14,000 are babies given up voluntarily by their parents within the US.
  • 26% of these US adoptions are international while 74% are domestic.
  • Overall, parents placing their infants up for adoption are made up of only 1/4 teenagers, contrary to the popular misconception that it's mostly teen moms participating in the adoption process. As a matter of fact, the predominant subset of woman giving their children up for adoption are in their 20s, have a high school diploma, and probably have other children they is raising.
  • 90% or more of current adoptive parents have met the birth mother per her request. Almost no woman choosing adoption today seeks anonymity or refusal to contact.
  • A very small minority of infant adoptions involve fathers in the process. Most women who are looking to give their baby up for adoption are single parents who either have no contact with the father or the father has made it clear he will not be involved in the baby's life.
  • Most women struggle to make the decision about what to do with an unplanned pregnancy and much of this is due to misinformation about adoption as an option.
  • Women who feel pressured into placing their children up for adoption suffer from poorer grief resolution and greater negative feelings.

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