Out of the 400,000 children in foster care, more than 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted (AdoptUSKids). That’s a large number of children waiting to be part of a family. But why does the number of children waiting to be adopted seem to increase as the years go by? The answer is because adoption is not an option that many people consider. Adoption is the process of taking legal responsibilities for the care and protection of a child that is not one’s own by birth (OVOC).
Why should people consider adopting children, especially families that are able to have their own? Adoption is giving a family to a child that has either been abandoned or taken from an unsafe/ abusive home. These children want nothing more than a family who will make them feel safe and loved (OVOC). Adoption is an option that most people are able to do whether they are married with children of their own, unmarried, a single female/male who wants a child, and same sex couples (in certain states). Although most people are able to adopt, few actually consider the option. Many people choose to not adopt because they believe that they will not be able to love an adopted child as much as they would love their own. They also believe that an adoptive child might not be as psychologically healthy as other children. But a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and conducted by the Search Institute says otherwise, “because of their strong desire to raise children, those who adopt make excellent parents. Moreover, the children they adopt are as psychologically healthy as other children” (OVOC).
The people who do consider adoption, usually want a toddler. They want to raise the child and watch them grow. Adopting an older child is usually not what many take into consideration, but why should they?
“Imagine being a teenager grappling with the transition into adolescence
and independence all alone. That is the situation facing thousands of young
people who face aging out of foster care alone every year. These teens
need support, guidance and a family now and for the rest of their lives”
Most of the children waiting for adoption are passed their toddler years. These are the children who are really in need of a family. These are the children who will grow in the foster system and eventually age out of it. The older youth that gets adopted are most likely to finish high school, go to college and be more emotionally secure than the youth that does not get adopted into a family and grows up in the foster care system. Older youth, especially the ones reaching their 18 years of age need a family too. A family doesn’t get outgrown, giving them a family gives them stability and guidance to help them in their further years (AdoptUSKids). If we want to reduce the number of children that are waiting to be adopted, we must consider all the children that are waiting for a family without age being a boundary.
International adoption has become an option that has become more popular because of celebrities. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Katherine Heigl have chosen to adopt children from developing nations (Ranker). Although this kind of adoption has controversy because of race, families who choose to adopt children of different race show that it is not an obstacle when it comes to loving a child. Adoption has over all become more commonly seen in the time we live in today. Besides celebrities, there are also many shows that have characters who are foster/adopted children. By the television showing how families are made of not just biological children but also adoptive children, it showsnhow much the social attitude towards adoption has changed. Series including The Fosters and Young and Hungry on Freeform show cases in which families foster and adopt children.
Adoption remains the best hope for abandoned and orphaned children. All children deserve a family to love them and help them grow. Spreading the word on adoption and having people at least consider the option can change the life of a child.
Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3010999169/OVIC?u=ranc95197&xid=1639a63d. Accessed 4 May 2017.
Adoption Statistics. www.statisticbrain.com/adoption-statisctics/. Accessed 6 May 2017.
About the Children. http://www.adoptuskids.org/meet-the-children/children-in-foster-care/about-the-children. Accessed 6 May 2017.
Celebrities Who Adopted Children from Overseas, Ranker. http://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-who-adopted-children-from-overseas/celebrity-lists. Accessed 9 May 2017.