I think there is a lot to be said for adoption and the people who navigate the system. Let me explain. I know it has been a while since I have been on this page, but it is my senior year of college, and there has been a lot of work involved to get me to the point where graduation is in sight. One of the things I have been doing is interning, in an adoption agency no less. Now, some people might say, “Oh how great! Are you inspired to be in this field because you are adopted?” Honestly, the answer is no.
While I am supportive of the ever changing family structure, I do not feel drawn to the field of adoption. That being said, this does not mean that I have decided to do a half-assed job. I have learned a lot about domestic adoptions and how they differ from international adoption as I have known it. When I was adopted, my parents saw my picture in some sort of adoption catalog. That’s how they chose me, by looking at a picture and deciding, ‘that is the one’. Soon to follow would be interviews, home inspections and all types of other hoops to jump through. In fact, that is pretty much how they adopted all of their children. I know that some families have gotten to meet their children at least once, but it’s still taking a risk. Think about it, you are bringing home a child and thinking or maybe praying that he or she will blend in with your family, friends, life. Who knows if the child has had adequate time to know that they are getting a new family.
Here in the United States, the system is different. The process is more intricate and tedious. It could take anywhere from 6 months to a few years to adopt a child. There is the possibility that the child’s parents may have fulfilled all court ordered requirements, resulting in the child returning to his or her birth parents. You have meetings with the child which will turn into over nights and indefinite move in trial periods before you decide if the child will fit with your family. It’s almost like dating.
On top of that, there are social workers and case workers that are supposed to help the child and family through the process as easily as possible. I will acknowledge possible cases of burnout. Some agencies are now even offering post adoption services. The chances that these children will be reunited with their birth families is higher as there are records on the parents’ names as well as other relatives and family friends. I have not yet tried to search for my birthmother, but I think it would be like finding a needle in a haystack, not to mention the fact that I may be too “Americanized” with body art and more outgoing personality.
The question is, which system is better? Which one will better fulfill the needs of the child and the family? Is this even the way to go at all? I sure as hell don’t have the answers, but it is nice to think that other people are wondering the same thing.