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Some parents in Louisiana and elsewhere throughout the United States celebrated the recently passed Adoption Day. These adoptive parents likely marked the occasion by looking back and re-living the steps in the adoption process that brought them a son or daughter. Some might even award those sons and daughters with celebratory gifts.
Many others might not have even known Adoption Day existed or seldom speak of it. Therein lies a potential problem. After all, many adoption advocates contend that adoption is not an issue that works itself into the daily conversation in the United States. Americans endlessly debate on such childbirth issues as birth control, right for single parents and abortion, so it is a wonder why adoption does not come up as a topic of conversation more than it does.
Many Americans that have not experienced the adoption process firsthand generalize it greatly. They simply assume that when husbands and wives cannot have a child biologically, they turn to the adoption system, which exhausts a person of their time and money.
Because there are no politicians touting the message of adoption, little has changed in regard to adoption numbers. In 2010, just 9,300 children from overseas were adopted by American parents. This number has declined since it peaked in 2004. Since 2002, the number of children adopted out of foster care in the U.S. has stayed within the window of 115,000 to 135,000. This is hardly a dent in the roughly 500,000 children up for adoption in the foster care system according to a 2010 report by the Children’s Bureau’s Administration for Children and Family.
With tireless efforts from politicians to uphold the rights of women in issues like abortion, there is simply no energy being exerted in actively connecting these children with potential adoptive parents. Perhaps when the idea of adoption truly embeds itself in the mainstream conversation of U.S. politics, this will change.
Source: The Huffington Post, “‘Adoption’ needs to become a buzz word in the social lexicon of America,” Steven Kurlander, Feb. 29, 2012