Key Points in Contemporary Adoption Practices

Adoption Expert Peter C. Winkler, LMSW continues to share his expertise in Adoption. He has written regularly for on the subject of adoption. This is part 2 of 2-part blog post. Here, he addresses key points concerning contemporary adoption practices. Please feel free to ask questions on the comment box. He will answer assuredly. To read part one, click here

peterwinklerFollowing my retirement from the State, I also started working on international adoptions in which children from such countries as China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Bulgaria and Ethiopia were adopted by New York families. Many of the families who adopted these children had initially tried to adopt a child in foster care. However when they called their local county social services office to inquire about adopting a child they reported that since they were unwilling to take a foster child who did not have a goal of adoption (that is, the child was not yet legally free) the county social services staff was unwilling to accept their applications to adopt a child. From time to time I have also prepared adoption home studies for those adopting children with the help of an attorney but without the services of an adoption agency. Such adoptions are legal in New York State, but without an adoption agency involved, families choosing this option probably run a higher risk of either being scammed or having one of the birth parents requesting the return of the child not long after placement with the adoptive parents. In order to minimize the chances of such an occurrence, I would strongly encourage any families who are considering a non-agency adoption to work with an attorney who has a significant amount of prior experience in the adoption field.

One of the things that I have been doing for about the last 5 years is responding to questions about adoption on the website: I think that I have been able to educate and assist some people by responding to questions concerning adoption that have been asked. However, I view writing this blog as an opportunity to address subjects in the adoption sphere that might never be raised in the All Experts, Q and A format. It is also my hope that what I write on the blog will reach more people in the adoption community and provide them with information on the adoption process as well as hints regarding the upbringing of an adoptive child. Since blogs are interactive, I welcome those who ready my blog to raise specific questions about adoption and to suggest areas of adoption that I might write about.

I would like to make some key points concerning adoption:

  • I think the most important point to be made is that the purpose of adoption is to find a good, permanent home for a child. Although many childless families are seeking to adopt, the priority should always be to find the best home available for a child. That is why adoption agencies have a matching process and families are initially asked whether they have preferences regarding such things as the age sex, race or disability level (if any) of a child that they are willing to adopt.
  • Virtually everyone in the adoption community is in agreement that an adopted child should be informed that they were adopted. While most people reading this blog will probably agree on this, it is something that historically has not always been the case. In previous generations, many adopted children were not told that they were adopted with the unfortunate repercussion that most of these adoptees learned about their adoptions years later and many felt betrayed by their adoptive parents. Even though many adoptive parents today report that they often hear comments that the child looks just like them, these parents have learned to laugh it off rather than to distort reality.
  • Adopting a child is not a “second best” situation. If you desire to adopt a child, it should because you want that child to be your son or daughter to whom you will give your unconditional love. In he case of a couple who are prospective adoptive parents, it should not be a situation where one has a strong desire to adopt and the other one simply goes along with the other partner. All adopted children have a right to be adopted by parents who will give them unconditional love.

There are many other key points that I could make, but I’ll save them for the future. I hope that those who read this blog enjoy it and learn from it. Your comments and questions will be appreciated.

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