Adoptions on the decline, advocates blame costly, time-consuming regulations

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  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    With an estimated 55 million abortions having occurred in the USA there should have been plenty of babies that could have been born and adopted out to infertile couples in their own country. With the number of single mothers there was potential, and still is, for plenty of adoptions from that source.

    However we have made abortion legal and supported single moms from taxpayer dollars. No mother considering oborting her offspring has any incentive to give birth or unmarried mother to give their babies to loving couples unable to have babies of their own.

    I like reading the classic novel "Silas Marner"; He discovers a baby near his cottage, a baby abandoned on a cold night. He saves her life and gives her a home. When he discovers years later that the local squire was the father, ashamed to own his fathering the child - the mother an opium addict, he refused to give up the child, now a young woman and the squire admitted he had the stronger claim and relinquished his own. Simpler days! Preferable to the baby selling business of today's authorities I venture to suggest.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 22, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    "Less than 15% of all children in foster care will be adopted. There were 57,000 children adopted from foster care during Fiscal Year 2009, but there were twice as many-115,000-waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2009.

    There are close to a half-million children in the United States who are in foster care at any one time. Some are in foster care for only a brief period of days or weeks before being returned to their families. But almost a quarter of a million will remain in foster care for a year or more. Nearly 50,000 will stay in foster care five years or more, while 30,000 will remain there until they reach adulthood."

    Annual state and federal expenditures for foster care total more than $9 billion under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act alone. Even more money is spent for publicly-subsidized medical care for foster children and food stamps, cash welfare, and child care payments to the families that care for them. On top of that, there are longer-term costs that society incurs because of the developmental risks associated with child maltreatment and family disruption."
    (Brookings Institute)

  • CGB Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    I just read this amazing column written from the perspective of an adoptee who spent most of his childhood trying not act like he was adopted. It's a touching story.

    Adoption is such a beautiful thing. We need to figure out a way to make it easier for loving, prospective parents to adopt children who are in dire need of love and affection.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin: Yes, I do. But I also believe that the choice is the woman's and each woman and situation is unique.

    @atrulson: IMVHO if there is 1 child who needs a family and is waiting to be adopted that is 1 child too many. I do not propose we kill them all. In an ideal world there's be no abortion. I was responding to what I felt was a knee jerk reaction, anti-choice comment. It's been my experience that many on the anti-choice side simply spout their religious/moral beliefs but do nothing else but rail. I agree with you that for children waiting to be adopted and for would be adoptive parents that the system should be as efficient, financially viable and transparent as possible.

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    to Bob A. Bohey

    I don't know your source for the claim that there are (too) many children waiting for adoption. But assuming that's true. Shouldn't the process be efficient enough to encourage good families to adopt?
    If your solution is to kill them before their born then sorry but I'm not in your camp.

  • DGDENTON Gainesville, TX
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:55 a.m.

    Follow the money. As I mentioned before, I have been part of the adoption reform movement in Texas. Every time we went in to testify for a bill, the agencies had a lawyer there to testify against us. The agencies are very powerful politically. They get money from corporations which sponsor fund raisers, from birth mother's parents, and the adopting parents. This is all in the name of the best interest of the child. Adoption is big business. Adoptees even lose their US citizenship when they are adopted to parents in other countries. The birth mother is never told. What little information she is told is often a half truth or an out and out lie. When sealed records are opened to adult adoptees, all the cover ups are discovered. These secrets are what they need to protect.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Sept. 8, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    You need to prove pets are up to date on immunizations. Most people don't own a cow. So what other things besides immunizations should be considered? When you foster the state is the parent. The reason you need 35 square feet of floor space per child in a bedroom properly segregated by gender over age 8 is in the past when foster or adopted kids were put in smaller quarters those fostering or adopting them were doing so for labour or some sinister purpose. It's all because of the actions of bad people, and regulations are in place.

    As for the money. If you live in many states you would need $12,000 a year in infant day care expenses and adding a child to medical for the first time means you are paying family premiums of 3k, a bio baby means you will reach out of pocket for the year 7k. You also would be saving for college or at the time other are in college having to come up with 20k a year for four years in a row. With the time it takes to adopt the money gets saved.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    We are in the Foster-to-adopt program, the only possible way we could afford adoption; even then the regulations are at times stifling. If that extra bedroom is just three or four square feet too small, you may not qualify.

    I recognize that regulations are set in to place to ensure healthy living situations, but sometimes our capacity has been questioned because we own a cow. And if we own a cow, it must be because we are some sort of anarchists who believe the world is coming to an end, and therefore, we probably shun doctors, which means that foster children in our care might not get the necessary medical attention. Sometimes the hoops are endless.

    What would be wonderful is some common sense (which apparently isn't all that common) and some reasonable guidelines that encourage participation rather than scaring off potential parents who are badly needed.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    There are plenty of willing families, who can afford to raise a child, who nevertheless can't come up with 10-20-40K to adopt a child. The whole system is screwed up, from the abortion industry, to the foster system, to the international mess. Any given child who is living in a nightmare doesn't care about all this red tape and expense. They just want it over - to have a loving permanent family.

    My dad was adopted in the mid 1930's - his family went to an orphanage and brought him home. By today's standards I suppose it was horribly unsupervised - but he got his family and got out of there. I was adopted privately in the 60's - and I cost less to adopt than my parents paid for the c-section deliveries of my brothers. When I had infertility issues - our only option was foster/adopt. We started the process - but after getting a social worker (in CA) who we suspected belonged in a very warm afterlife, we decided not to put ourselves through the invasive, demeaning, horrible treatment any further.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    I know it. I Live it. I Love it.::

    We need to help our own citizens before we help those in other countries.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 8, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Hey Bob A. Bohey, I bet every day you wake up and thank the stars that somebody who was pregnant with you decided to choose life instead of having an abortion.

  • Kuncice San Fransisco/CA, CA
    Sept. 8, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    International adoption is rightfully declining because it's a system filled with documented and on-going patterns of adoption agency corruption, baby stealing, child trafficking, coercion of the biological parents and legal violations. The corruption and abuse are so widespread and pervasive that nearly half the 40 countries listed by the U.S. State Department as the top sources for international adoption from 1995-2008 temporarily halted adoptions or were prevented from sending children to the United States.

    Like Wall Street brokerage firms, international adoption agencies make huge profits brokering children. Time to end the tax credit for international adoption!

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Sept. 8, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @Mountanman: "What should be costly and regulated are abortions! 180 degrees out of phase!" Even you must see the futility of this logic but if not let me give you a clue. There are already (too) many children waiting/in need of adoption, reducing abortions most likely only increase that number.

    Now all you ANTI-choice folks, here's your opportunity to put your money where your mouths are, c'mon step up to the plate and take on these kids. With the number of children waiting for adoption growing it paints the ant-choice crowd as folks who do not truly believe the propaganda that they spew.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    Yea, we have a hypocritical process. A short time ago, a couple was busted for attempting to "sell" their child for survival money -- willing to sign just about anything. The child was taken --- to be sold (oops -- adopted out) for a ridiculously higher amount of "fees".

  • @look_to_god in flux, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:47 a.m.


    I think the later comments well explain the frustration leading to international adoption. I agree with you, though, that we should care for the children 'in our own house' (figuratively speaking) first.

    @I Know it. I live it. I love it.

    I think the appropriate metaphor for Fullypresent's concern is how can a parent feel justified in focusing and giving all her time to another's children while leaving her own in neglect?

    I don't know much about the adoption process but it sounds as though we need to do some house-cleaning first to make sure our own children are cared for and then we, and they, can turn outwards to help the rest in need. The more everyone does so (all nations, as it seems many are beginning to do), the more that all children will be taken care of.

  • nmjim SANDIA PARK, NM
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    James Dobson of Focus on the Family did a series on the sad state of adoption in the USA a few years ago and blamed the existing Federal and State bureacracies for the mess: Simply put, it is next to IMPOSSIBLE for Americans to adopt American kids because of the regulations and unbelievable costs involved. The bureacracy makes more money when kids are kept in FOSTER CARE instead of being allowed for adoption.
    Several of my friends have endured years of heartbreak and tens of thousands of dollars in expenses trying unsuccessfully to navigate the adoption process. It is MUCH less expensive and time consuming to adopt from some foreign countries. It's that simple.
    This article does accurately state much of the problem lies with the desire for babies instead of older children...

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    "Adoptions on the decline, advocates blame costly, time-consuming regulations." So telling about American society! What should be costly and regulated are abortions! 180 degrees out of phase!

  • DGDENTON Gainesville, TX
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    As a 72 year old adult adoptee, I have been part of the adoption reform movement in Texas. Our laws governing adoption are antiquated. They were part of the 1930's socialist movement in the U.S. The center piece has been the sealed records which was supposedly "in the best interest of the child." In reality it has been in the best interest of socialist principles because even as an adult, an adoptee has to go through a torturous process to receive their original birth certificates. Unimaginable social pressures and legal obstacles are placed before the adult adoptee just to obtain their own records. Many sorted common practices of reputable adoption agencies have been covered up by the sealed records over the past 70 years. I suggest all professionals and members of the adoption triad read "The Girls That Went Away" by Ann Fessler. It is a profile of numerous young women who were exploited by forced adoptions. I have met some of these women. The system needs to be changed. There will always be children who need to be adopted, but the system must be ethical.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    What does it matter where the child is adopted from? People don't adopt cause their hearts bleed. They adopt because they want to parent another child. If you see a need to adopt from here do it.

    The kids in this country have relatives they are legally attached to. In this country there is no shame in being a single parent dad or mom. This is good. In this country you may have children whenever you want to. Children should remain with parents or family and people they know whenever possible.

    You know there really aren't orphans anymore in the sense that parents have guardians appointed. Even abroad most countries tackle the problem of poverty by separately housing children away from their families in the name of charitable efficiency. Many of those are mistakenly labeled orphan. There are no epidemics where tens of thousands die of global flu bug.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:52 a.m.

    Those strongly opposed to birth control and abortion in this country should look to reduce the costs and legal hurdles associated with adoption.

    Make Adopting American babies fast, inexpensive, painless and permanent.

  • DanielIbnZayd Lebanon, 00
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:08 a.m.

    It is interesting that this article examines bureaucratic factors as a "problem", similar to how over-regulation is seen to have a deleterious effect on business in a neo-liberal economy. As an adoptee returned to his place of origin, this focus on the economic and political is welcome, since it points out what truly underlies the business of human trafficking that we euphemistically refer to as "adoption". Your advocates will neglect to admit that it is anti-adoption activism that is cutting into adoptions—on the adoptee as well as original family side—as the mythology of family creation gives way to an awareness of the societal inequalities that allow adoption to take place. These formerly unheard voices deserve more of your attention than those who take advantage of them in order to "save" foreign souls and feather their nests. This is an underlying "pyromaniac firefighter syndrome", and its days are numbered. The sooner we focus on these inequalities, the sooner we will benefit all children, not just a select few. And thus our priorities which would reveal whether we are only thinking about ourselves, or else truly about our communities, our place, and indeed the world.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:53 p.m.


    An orphan, homeless child, and even an abused child in the United States has far more opportunities, tools freely available, and people willing to teach them how to be successful (as long as they are willing). I'm not saying it's peachy for these children, it isn't. But we need to address the biggest need areas before working on the next step up, line upon line.

    To patch up a penny-sized hole on a boat, and ignore the football sized whole in the back, just doesn't make sense.

    If one kid hasn't had water for 2 days, and another hasn't had it for 3, without other factors would you give priority to the 2-day kid just because they live in your country? If so, that's fine, but how do you justify it? I can't think of a good reason. American children aren't more deserving just because they were born to American citizens. If you disagree with that, then I have to think that is the start of inequality.

    I'd be happy to be wrong, I just don't see how it can be justified any other way.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    What is wrong with all the kids in this country that need a family? Just curious. Don't hearts bleed for them as well? There are always articles and news programs you see about all the kids in our own country that need a family. Why don't we want to help our own first?

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Sept. 6, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    As an adoptive mom I must say that the high numbers were not because of a supply of children needing families getting into the adoption process quickly. Many of those programs closed for good reason. Guatemala being the most easy example. Corruption was rampant. Lots of babies kidnapped and sold into the system. Who wants to tell their son or daughter they were kidnapped or their parents tricked or their parents were pressured into placing? That their birth was hidden from their dad so bio mom could decide?

    Adoption needs to be about bio father and bio mother placing their child into the family of another because they decide they are not ready to parent their child at the momentl It is a misfortune that a child not stay with the family they were born in and that parents don't get the pleasure and satisfaction of being able to parent the children born to them. There will always be children needing a family.