The issue of adoption is particularly acute now, given the significant stratification of society and the growing population of the Earth. It is a chance for the child to have a family and not to face adverse psychological and material consequences of its absence. At the same time, there are particular challenges associated with adopting the child to a new family, especially in international adoption. This paper argues that adoption is a socially beneficial practice with multiple advantages, including on an international scale, but requires a professional and competent approach.
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Social Benefits of Adoption
Adoption is a significant opportunity for both the potential adoptive family and the child. It should be noted that its primary purposes in the social sense are child satisfaction and “positive development outcomes” (Barth 33). Children raised in orphanages or on the street are more vulnerable to poverty, crime, and drugs, which can affect not only their mental and physical health but also the whole society. Moreover, infertile or wealthy couples are able to become parents without resorting to artificial insemination methods, which is essential in an overpopulation era. Adoption, in many ways, is more beneficial for the child than foster care. According to Barth, the adoptive family provides the child with a long-term reliable relationship and guides “youth through the confusing and costly market places of employment, housing, higher education, and family formation” (34). Thus, instead of traumatic childhood and adolescent experiences, a person gets a full family, and society avoids many adverse consequences.
Particular attention is now being paid to the phenomenon of international adoption, which is relevant for both developed and developing countries. Both parties have the opportunity to remove children from dangerous environments, such as restive regions or particularly impoverished locations, and provide better living conditions. Frequently, children who arrived in adoptive families from such places need not only psychological and material support but also medical assistance (Friedman and Lynch 2). The trend in the number of adopted children has been declining recently, including due to the “closure of international adoption to the United States by countries that had previously sent large numbers of adoptees” (Friedman and Lynch 2). This is caused by stricter laws in these countries and deprives children of a valuable opportunity to find a family.
Adjustment to Adoption
It should be noted, however, that adoption in itself is not a panacea for the orphancy problem, and it requires proper adjustment in order to be successful. “Functional relationships between family members based on trust and honest communication” are the necessary environment for the efficiency of this process (Barth 43). As a rule, it is crucial to take into account the differences between the adoptive and the birth family, especially if the adopted child is already an adolescent. In the case of international adoption, it also takes some time for the child to adjust to the new cultural and social setting. Moreover, adoptive parents may also need to adapt to the parenting situation, which can often require professional intervention.
Thus, adoption solves many social problems related to the traumatic childhood and adolescence experiences of young people and their potentially disadvantaged development. In turn, international adoption allows children to escape from dangerous surroundings and get into a supportive environment for their maturation. Adjustment to adoption is necessary for both children and adoptive parents, as the transition to new living conditions can be challenging and require the assistance of a specialist.
Barth, Richard P., editor. Adoption and Disruption: Rates, Risks, and Responses. Routledge, 2017.
Friedman, Susan, and Amy Lynch. “International Adoption.” The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, edited by Stephen Hupp and Jeremy D. Jewell, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2019, pp. 1-11.
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