The process of adopting is when a child is placed with foster parents after being given up or taken from his or her birth parents. Before the child is placed with new parents they are placed in a foster home or adoption center. Adoption also involves the legal transfer of rights from the birth parents to the adopting parents. The new adopting parents have full rights with their adopted children. This means that the adopted children's new parents can choose where the children attend school, whether or not they are allowed to attain their driver's license and much more.
Adoption, throughout its history, has been performed to begin a family and is still used to start a family today. Most adopting parents do so because they are unable to have children of their own because one or both of the parents' reproductive organs does not work properly in the realm of procreation.
The amount of children without families grew during the 1860s as a result of the American Civil War and there were thousands of abandoned children running around in the streets of New York City. The Orphan Train movement began in the early 1860s. The Orphan Train shipped children without families out of large cities and into the country's rural areas. Here the children would not be adopted by new families but were indentured with the new families. The majority of the children were raised as part of the family and the other half of them would be used as farmhands or slaves of their new family.
The Orphan Train displaced 200,000 children from one location to another and it remains the largest displacement of children at one time in the history of the country. Because of the large number of children being moved and placed into deplorable conditions, adoption became a hot topic of the time, with states trying to remove the option of indenturing children. Minnesota became one of the first states in the United States to pass adoptions laws in 1917. Minnesota's law stated that the placement of a child in a new family must be investigated before it is completed.
From 1945-1974, this period of time in the United States was known as the Baby Scoop Era because there was a rapid growth in the adoption and placement of children in hundreds of families across the country. More and more people in the country came to a realization that adopting a child or children can help to create a family.
Adoption became popular among families that were infertile and among unwed mothers that wanted to have their own family. Adoption peaked in the 1970s and began to decline ever since. No one is really sure why adoption rates began to decline in the middle of the 1970s but many people feel that the creation of artificial birth control helped to decrease the adoption rate because the amount of children being placed up for adoption became less with each passing year.
There are two forms of adoption available today for people looking to adopt children of their own. Those two forms of adoption are opened and closed adoption. Open adoption allows identifying information to be sent between the adopting couple and the birth parents of the child being adopted. This form of adoption might also allow for communication between the child being adopted and the birth parents of that child including phone calls, emails, letters and visitation.
Closed adoption is when there is no identifying information shared between adopting parents and birth parents of an adopted child. Also, in a closed adoption, there is no contact between the birth parents and the adopted child. Closed adoption is practiced for the most part today and is used in adoption cases where the child being adopted was removed from a home because of neglect or abuse.
Adoption takes place through foreign agencies, private arrangements and foster care. A child can be adopted by a complete stranger or a blood relative. Any person that is deemed fit to adopt a child is allowed to adopt any child they wish that is available for adoption.
The Firm has considerable experience in these matters in Northumberland County, Snyder County, Union County, Montour County, Lycoming County, Clinton County, Tiaoga County, Bradford County, Lycoming County, and throughout the state.
For More Information
- Pennsylvania State Adoption Laws
- Pennsylvania April 22, 2011 Adoption Bulletin
- Adoption Network Law Center
- Adopt Us Kids
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- National Adoption Center