This is the first post in a series looking at adoption trends, both here in the United States and in Taiwan.
Several people have asked us why we have chosen to adopt internationally – couldn’t we just adopt an infant placed for adoption here in the United States?
Private domestic adoption statistics are difficult to track because not all states report them. The availability of infants for adoption in the United States does appear to be decreasing. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute reports why this may be the case:
“A variety of factors, including increased access to contraception, the legalization of abortion and changed social attitudes about unmarried parenting, have caused the number of white infants placed for adoption in the U.S. to decline dramatically. Between 1989 and 1995, 1.7 percent of children born to never-married white women were placed for adoption, compared to 19.3 percent before 1973. Among never-married black women, relinquishment rates have ranged from .2 percent to 1.5 percent.”
If we had chosen to adopt an infant domestically, our family’s photograph and information would most likely be on file with an agency. The agency would show birthmothers our information along with other families waiting to adopt. The birthmothers would then have the opportunity to “interview” the adoptive families and choose the family that would adopt her child.
Because we already have two biological children, we felt that may prevent birthmothers from choosing us because they would be concerned about their child’s place in our family. We also were concerned about how long our wait could be for a child if we adopted domestically, since we would be waiting for a birthmom to choose us. In Taiwan, there are a few programs where the birthmother chooses the adoptive family, but the placements for the program we chose are done by the orphanage staff.
Next in this series. . .a look at domestic adoption in Taiwan.