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Love, Nurturance, And Protection: The Birthright Of Children

1440 words - 6 pages

According to the National Council for Adoption, the estimated national yearly average for children being adopted is fifty thousand. Out of these children half are still infants. The state of Virginia has a population of roughly 7.8 million. Based on the national figures on adopted children in the United States this would place on average only 156 children adopted from the state of Virginia annually. However, numbers can only tell half the story. The policies around the adopting of children—both domestic and international—have been under intense scrutiny in recent years, including China’s most recent changes in the way they screen potential adopters.

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Once the child has reached the age of two, most biological parents have already grown attached to the child and are typically less willing to give them up. However, most mitigating circumstances, such as the unlikely case of the birth mother having a terminal illness, will see to it that these children are placed in new loving families. On average, a domestic adoption is finalized by the courts within approximately six months depending on the adoption laws of the particular state.

With many potential adoptive parents interested in caring for orphaned or neglected children overseas, international adoption has become increasingly popular in recent years. This trend has been underscored with celebrity entertainers, including Madonna and Angelina Jolie, adopting children from underdeveloped countries. Cindy Freidmutter, former executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, suggests that international adoption has become a “potentially lucrative and largely unregulated business.” Freidmutter states that the number of international adoptions by Americans has risen tremendously from around 6,500 in 1992 to over 19,000 in 2001. She identifies three issues which the Intercountry Adoption Act fails to address.

First, agencies should be required to thoroughly document all monetary transactions, no longer expecting their prospective clients to handle large sums of cash while abroad in foreign countries, an act not only foolhardy but very dangerous. Second, contracts between agencies and clients should be clear and unambiguous to set a more professional relationship between all parties. The Adoption Institute conducted an independent survey, polling parents who adopted foreign children through agencies specializing in international adoptions. Of those who responded, 15% reported that agencies either withheld or provided inaccurate information about their perspective child. Third, parents considering international adoption should have better access to objective information to better guide them in choosing the best international adoption agency for them. It should be noted that international adoptions are a lengthy process, often requiring many years and thousands of dollars to complete.

Many disheartening myths still surround adoption today including the beliefs that adoption is impossible, birthparents will likely want their child back, and that adopted children are disturbed individuals. One myth most disturbing is the notion that if God wanted a person to have children they’d get pregnant. This belief is sorely skewed. Many of our world’s monotheistic religions, in particular Christianity, hold firm views on the wellbeing of children. The Christian Bible even states that “children are a heritage of the Lord” [Psalm 127:3]. Also, according to the Adoption Resources of Jewish Family Service—a branch of the Jewish Family Services of Tidewater—“love, nurturance, and protection have...

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