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From the world “child adoption”, "child" means a young person of either sex, whether by birth or by adoption. While “adoption” mean the act or process of adopting a person “child adoption” means the legally act or process of making another person’s child part of your family so that he or she becomes one of your own children. Most of the adoption cases involved potential pool of adoptive parents who women are infertile. While others involve family planning where they decide not to be pregnant. Nevertheless, public will commonly ask is it necessary for the adoption to take place? Is child adoption an alternative to abortion and single parenting? Does adoption heal the child from severe abuse and neglect he/she faced in the biological family? Should child adoption be encouraged? Therefore, this research paper will be giving a view of the history of child adoption, types of child adoption, conditions that should fulfilled for child adoption, factors lead to the increase in child adoption, advantages and finally conclude on the disadvantages of child adoption.
History of child adoption
The kind of adoption as we know nowadays did not exist a hundred and fifty years ago. The kind of adoption in those days usually means a child moved in with relatives, or a child lived with an unrelated family in exchange as a labour. In these two situation, the adults who “adopt” the children did not legally become the children’s parents. Such kinds of adoption were often not long lasting, the “adopted” children were not expected to be threaten as biological children by the adoptive parents. However, after centuries of evolution, adoption had became a more and more formal arrangement, well-planned and have to go through legal process. By the end of the nineteenth century, most country had required that various legal steps to be taken before the adoption cases can be proceed. Examples of action included going in and out of the adoption agencies, an official surrender by the birth parents, issuance of an adoption decree by a judge, even consultation to both adoptive parents and birth parents if needed. (Currie.S, 1997) Now, child adoption have become a trend which was encouraged by many country as there are lots of advantages gain by the children and adoptive parents even the birth parents, though there are still disadvantages being sound by some parties.
Types of child adoption Transracial adoption
Transracial or transcultural adoption is a type of adoption where the adoptive parents adopt a child who come from a different races or ethic group.
LGBT adoption refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual adoption. These is a special type of adoption where many country still arguing on its legalization. As LGBT are against the nature law. But currently, nine European countries allow LGBT adoption, these country are Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Sweden. (Crumley. B 2008)
Single parent adoption
A single parent adoption occurs when single men and women who have decided to become parents without marry with another person. They want to have the opportunity to provide a loving permanent home for a child. A reason why single parent adoption occurs is a successful, independent single man or woman does not want to give up his or her freedom and assume the responsibilities of raising up a child.
A international adoption occurs when single parent or couple from a particular country planning to adopt a child from another country. This type of adoption usually gone through an adoption agency. Sometimes, the adoptive parents do not even meet with the adopted child until the adoption processes were done.Eligibility criteria that should fulfilled for child adoption
In Australia, adoption is bind by the Adoption Act 2000. According to the act, a person or couple who interested in adoption a child must fulfilled the following eligibility criteria:
A person who wish to become an adoptive parents, should ensure that himself/herself can raise up a child who does not share the same biological and perhaps cultural heritage as himself/ herself. They also have to ensure that the adopted child is fully aware of their life story including information about birth family and culture of their own origin. Besides that, they also have to accept and try to understand the situation where adopted child may seek to clarify their identity when reach adolescence stage. According to Eleanor,H,A (1997), adoptive parents should treat the child as a real member of the house hold, never treat them as a outsider.
Adoptive parents are expected to retain health and vigour to raise a child until adulthood. This is very important as when the child reach adolescence stage, where this stage is very particular, the adoptive parents should have enough energy to take care of them. Their physical and psychological health should not interfere with their ability to take care their adopted child until a particular stage where they can take care of themselves.
A person or couple have to be of good repute. According to the law, whoever has a record of violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse or a crime against a child will disqualify them from adopting a child.
Current statistical information on child adoption
According to AIHW (2007), in year 2005 till 2006, there were 576 adoption cases occurred in Australia, a 2% decrease if compared to the statistic made in a year before. Referring to figure 5.1 below, clearly shows that almost three-quarters of the adoption cases were intercountry or known as international adoption, 16% were “known” adoptions and 10% were local adoptions.
While refers to figure 5.2 below, it shows that the majority of adopted children were aged younger than 5 years(76%), with more than half of these aged less than 1 year. Females are generally more than males adoptee with 55% compared to 45%.
According to the statistic report, the number of adoptions is different in all the states and territories. States with larger populations for example New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland has the highest number of adoptions, but lowest rate of adoptions per 100,000 population. Rates of adoptions were highest in Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
Factors leading to child adoption To overcome infertility.
Infertility is the state of being unable to produce offspring. For a woman it is an inability to conceive; while for a man it is an inability to impregnate. For this cases, couples usually choose to adopt a child though there are plenty of other treatment such as drug therapies hormone therapy, surgical intervention, intra-uterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) and others as the cost for these treatments are not low. For the less capable family, they will choose to adopt. Thought adoption cannot solve the problems associated with infertility, it will provide the infertile couple with the challenges and rewards of loving and being loved by a child. (Fertility Today, 2008)
Poverty is defined as the state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions. In some cases, parents succumb to sickness, and they are unable to work, thus providing no financially support to their children. If there are some savings, they have no choice but goes towards health care costs. As a results, they have ignored their children’s needs, such as school fees and clothing. (Global Action For Children Organization, 2008) According to Currie,S. (1997), report shows that there were five million homeless and abandoned children living in India alone just because of poverty. Though the report was made in 1987, but the number of homeless children at that particular time had already reached a serious stage. India as the second populous country in the world, for sure, the number of homeless children is even more now.
6.3 Orphans and Vulnerable Children ( OVC)
According to the statistical number made by the Global Action For Children Organization (2008), there are 143 million children in the developing world have lost one or both parents. 20million children will be orphaned by HIV/AIDS alone by the year 2010. Children who faced this kind of situation must often leave their family and may not accepted by extended family members. Besides that, children may be orphaned by some other reasons such as natural disaster. In the article written by Unmesh. K (2008), posted in Time Magazine, tens of thousands of children have been either separated from their parents or orphaned, caused by the killing tsunami on 2005. The most update one is the earthquake disaster happened in china on 12th of May 2008, had caused an estimated of 4,000 children became orphans. According to Wendy.K(2008), adoption agencies are receiving a surge in phone calls from people who want to adopt Chinese children who were orphaned by the deadly earthquake happened in SiChuan, China. Thus, for the above cases, the most suitable “treatment” for this kind of children is to put them under adoption. There is always someone who care about them and adopt them as one of their family members.
Advantages of child adoption
Adoption benefits everyone in the adoption triad. Many of these benefits are helpful to the birthmother and birthfather. Other benefits are directed at the child who is being placed for adoption and/or the adoptive parents Adoption brings a positive ending to a challenging situation and benefits everyone involved. I will discuss about the advantages of adoption for the birthparents, the adoptive parents and the child.parents and the child.
Giving the child a better life
According to Currie,S. (1997), child adoption can save a child from a bleak future. This is clearly means that adoption can give a neglected or orphaned child a better life. As some parent cannot afford to give child a good life due to many reasons such as poverty, or some disease such as AIDS/HIV(Global Action For Children Organization, 2008). The cannot afford to give their child education, good staying environmental or even have no ability to feed their children. Thus, putting their child for adoption is the best way to save their child as adoption provides the love and support of adoptive parents who are emotionally and financially ready to the child. Adoptive parent can also give the child a warm home and greater probability of good educational resources that they may not receive from the biological parents. Orphaned child such as in the case of China earthquake can get an opportunity to live normally. (Wendy, K 2008)
Fulfilling birthparents and adopting parent’s dreams
Through child adoption, couple who faced infertility problems can fulfill their dream of having a child. (American Pregnancy Association 2000). In the case of China family, who are bind to the one child policy, family can fulfilled their dreams of having a male child through adoption too.
Reducing world population
Adoption can also reduces the world population. Through adoption, couples who does not want to contribute to the increasing in world population can choose to adopt a child. There is always the adoption agency around the world which can help in the adoption cases.
7.4 Financial assistance offered to adoptive parents
According to Cullen, L.K. (2007), some companies in U.S adoption assistant, it found that $4700 is offered on average per adoption and about double that if a child has special needs. Companies also giving worker an average of five weeks of paid parental leave.
Disadvantages of child adoption
If there are advantages, for sure there are also disadvantages. Child adoption may brings some negative impact for all parties.
Pressure and mental stress
In the process of adoption, children may feel stress. According to Unmesh.K (2008), orphaned children in the tsunami disaster who are placed for adoption may suffering from both physical and psychological trauma after seeing their family member drown in the terrible disaster. They cannot keep themselves out from the nightmare, thus usually being diagnosed with a behavior or emotional problem after the adoptions. For older children in the case of international adoption and transracial adoption, will be harmed by being separated from their original culture. According to Currie, S (1997), children are “whisked away in cars to arrive at strange houses full of objects they’ve never even imagined”.
They have to learn the ways of a new culture, meet people of different races, learned new language, which can be extremely difficult. According to Levy-Shiff, R.(2001), adopt a child at a older age will increase the risk for maladjustment, as the child having difficulties in adapting to the adoptive family. While for the adoptive parents, according to Palacios, J. (2006), adoptive parent who adopted a special needs children, children who have undergone difficult institutional experiences, will exhibit a higher stress. Besides that, adopt more than one child is also said to be correlated with stress.
8.2 Stress faced by grown up children
According to Fertility Today Organization (2008), when reached a particular stage such as adolescence, children often feel curious about those who play important roles in their lives. Usually, adoptive children will want to know about their biological roots. When a adopted child “accidentally” found out that he/she is adopted, meanwhile his/her adoptive parents have been dishonest to him/her, he/she may might feel upset or abandoned. Thus, its very important to let adoptive child has a clear picture about his/her personal birth origins hence a better self-esteem can be build. Yet researches at the University of Minnesota have found that a small minority of adoption children, about 14% are diagnosed with a behavioral disorder or have contact with a mental health professional as adolescents. (Kingsbury, K. 2008)
We know that children require nurturing environments to thrive today and to have promising prospects for tomorrow. Common sense, confirmed by my research, tells that children who are neglected or orphaned by certain reason will do best if removed from the bleak and placed permanently with families where they will receive the kind of nurturing likely to help them removed from their situation. Thus, it is clearly stated that child adoption has more advantages than disadvantages, and child adoption should be strongly encouraged ignoring the little disadvantages.