USA Laws and Adoption Part 1 | Introduction to Adoption

Introduction to Adoption

Children up for adoption in the United StatesAdoption is the social, emotional, and legal process in which children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family. Adoption has many facets and touches people in different ways depending on their role and individual perspective. In this part of the series you can find information on the history of adoption in the United States, definitions and the use of language in adoption, core issues in adoption, and information about social media in adoption. You will also find links to related resources and information.

  • History of adoption practices
  • Core issues in adoption
  • Social media in adoption

History of Adoption Law in the United States

While the practice of adoption has been around before mankind, the recent history of adoption in the United States Law can be tracked to the 1850s, with the passage of the first “modern” adoption law in Massachusetts that recognized adoption as a social and legal process based on child welfare rather than adult interests. The 1850s also began the era of the orphan trains that relocated children from New York to live with families throughout the United States and Canada. In this section, find information on the history of adoption practice in the United States, including major Federal legislation dating back to 1974.

Core issues in adoption

Adoption is a lifelong process for everyone involved, with significant emotional and legal impacts. The classic “Seven Core Issues in Adoption,” published in the early 1980s, outlined the seven lifelong issues experienced by all members of the adoption triad: loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control. Some scholars have built on these core issues. The following are resources on the core issues in adoption.

Lifelong Issues in Adoption
Resources for All: 7 Core Issues in Adoption

Social media in adoption

Social media is transforming all aspects of adoption, from recruiting and preparing families to providing postadoption services. Social media can help family members, including birth siblings in different placements, stay connected. These connections can also help adoptive parents fill gaps in their child’s medical history and other birth-family information. With the many social media platforms available, almost any adoption has the potential to be opened, allowing direct communication between the birth and adoptive families and the adopted person. This climate of increased openness raises questions about how families are prepared for adoption and what services are available to support them if communication is opened before all parties are prepared.

Social media networks can also be an important avenue for recruiting families and raising awareness about the need for adoptive parents for children in foster care. The following are resources and information that promote the use of social media for an agency or organization and provides additional resources to help engage parents and caregivers involved in adoption.

Adoption 2.0: Finding Mom on Facebook

Social Media Connects Adoptive Parents and Birth Families

Should I “Friend” Our Birthmother?

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