November is National Adoption Month. The month is marked by adoption-related articles and discussions. For members of the triad (adoptees, birth families, and adoptive families), it's a time to remember our paths to family. For adoption professionals, it's a moment to take stock of the past year and think about changes and trends.
Posted by Betsy Hochberg
This article was first published by Resolve New England.
The number of domestic infant adoptions has remained fairly steady at 12,000 to 14,000 adoptions annually over the past decade. However, both legal and societal changes have altered the landscape. In past generations, birth parents tended to be young women, many still in high school or college. Almost all were unmarried. As acceptance of single parenthood has increased, these women are less likely to make an adoption plan. There is an increase in grandparents raising grandchildren as well.
Today the most common birth parent is a woman or couple already parenting. Parents understand the sacrifices required raising another baby, and some make the decision to place their child for adoption directly at birth.
Another trend in domestic adoption is the increase in trans-racial parenting. As our country becomes more diverse, so do adoptive families. The adoption of Asian or African American children by Caucasian families is no longer uncommon.
Finally, the adoption of older children is a growing trend. State or public agencies typically place older children and are facing increasing pressure to move children more quickly from foster care to permanency. Additionally, the decrease in international adoption options has made domestic waiting child adoption a more predictable and easier route. There are many supports and some subsidies available for families who welcome these children into their home.
JF&CS Adoption Resources offers a variety of programs to assist individuals and couples pursuing adoption. We are licensed in Massachusetts to provide domestic and international adoption services, as well as a wide range of post-adoption services.
Betsy Hochberg, LICSW is Director of Adoption Resources, the adoption agency of JF&CS. She has held this position for the past 12 years and has been a clinical social worker for 35 years. She began her adoption work 25 years ago after adopting the first of her two daughters. Betsy is a board member of Resolve of New England and the Adoption Professional Association of Massachusetts (APAM). When not at JF&CS, Betsy enjoys walking her Bernese Mountain Dog, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughters, and granddaughter.