Our previous blog gave a brief history of adoption in the United States up to the 1960s when the demand for adoption was high. The U.S. government endorsed intercountry adoption to help with the number of orphaned children from World War II. In 1963, the U.S. made the intercountry adoption permanent. The demand for domestic adoption was at its peak in the 1970s in the U.S. leveled off since because of many factors. As technological and medical advances have persisted, it has provided alternatives, like surrogacy and in vitro fertility for parents wanting children.
While giving up your child for adoption has been a steady occurrence for women, the options for adopting a child has changed to make it more possible. During the 1960s, there were more provisions for the foster care of children, typically for children whose mothers didn’t give up a child for adoption, but rather can’t care for her child properly.
Another major change has to do with how children given up for adoption were placed. The criteria for adoptive parent(s) requirements have changed largely. During the middle of the mid-1900s through the 1970s, the requirements for adoption were along the same lines of the socio-demographic characteristics of the adoptive parents. Today, the requirements have been loosened to reflect the social progressiveness of our culture. Single parents, homosexual couples, multiracial families and more can adopt! The requirements focus more on the quality of life the child will have as they become part of the family unit. The international adoption requirements have fluctuated with the changes in political events and intercountry adoption agreements.
While the whole adoption process will continue to change and flex, it will remain that birth mothers who give their child up for adoption will fill a need for family units who cannot have their biological children or want to adopt.