How to Complete an Ethical Adoption With Our Agency
American Adoptions: One of the Best Ethical Adoption Agencies Out There
In the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about ethical adoption. In fact, as you research your adoption options, you may come across articles and blogs warning against unethical adoption practices and agencies. It seems everyone has an opinion on the ethical issues in adoption, and reading them can be enough to make you want to give up on the process altogether.
While adoption and ethics is a complicated conversation, there are ways to adopt with ethical practices. In fact, by coming to this page, you’ve already taken the first step to ensuring an ethical adoption. You recognize the challenges and complexities associated with modern adoption, and you’re ready to do what you can to ensure a positive outcome for your child and your child’s birth parents.
American Adoptions is proud to operate as one of the truly ethical adoption agencies out there. We recognize that adoption isn’t right for everyone, and we will never pressure adoptive parents or pregnant women into a decision that’s not right for them. But, if they are interested, we make sure they have the information they need to make a clear-minded, objective decision.
For more information on our ethical adoption practices, you can request free adoption information or speak with a trained specialist. In the meantime, learn a bit more about ethical issues in child adoption — and how we approach them — in the article below.
How Adoption History Plays a Part
The conversation surrounding ethical adoption practices comes from the complicated and unfortunate parts of adoption history.
Up until the 20th century, adoption was a secretive and taboo process. Unwed mothers often had no choice but to place their children with other parents, who may or may not have ever told the child they were adopted. Some parents even took in adopted children specifically for labor and profit. Orphanages were common, and children often lingered in them until they were “old” enough to be released from the home, with no resources to improve their lives. International adoption and adoption of Native American children was seen as a way to “Americanize” those populations, and adoptees had no personal connection to their cultural and racial heritage.
However, in the 1900s, adoptees and birth parents began to advocate strongly for their rights. Many states have opened up adoption records in the last few decades, and adoption professionals have changed their practices to promote more ethical adoption programs.
Looking back, history is full of ethical issues in adoption — but, thankfully, many adoption professionals have tailored their programs and services to better serve all members of the adoption triad, not just adoptive parents.
What Makes an “Ethical” Adoption
So, what sets ethical adoptions apart from unethical ones?
While there is no singular ethical adoption “definition,” there are a few things acknowledged as critical in an ethical infant adoption:
- That the pregnant woman is offered objective information and education, including references to parenting and adoption resources
- That she retains the right to make her own choices about her adoption plan and change her mind about her decision at any time prior to giving consent
- That adoptive parents undergo intensive screening and education to prepare for the realities of modern adoption, especially the challenges of and preparation required for transracial adoption
- That open adoption is encouraged and even required
- That trained specialists are available 24/7 to prospective birth parents
- That professional support is offered long after placement to all members of the adoption triad
In an ethical adoption, no party is ever pressured into moving forward until they’re ready. And, when they are, their adoption professionals will work tirelessly to protect their rights and interests — and the rights and interests of the child involved.
If you’re new to adoption, the requirements of an ethical adoption — open adoption contact, home studies, etc. — may seem overwhelming. But they are crucial to creating an adoption experience where everyone is an equal, respected member of the journey.
An ethical adoption is difficult to complete on your own. American Adoptions is here to make it easy and provide the reassurance you need to safely navigate the ethical issues in adoption.
One of the Most Ethical Adoption Agencies: American Adoptions
Working with an adoption agency may seem like the best way to complete a private domestic infant adoption. But beware: Not all agencies operate with the best interest of birth parent and adoptee in mind. Instead, they focus on the adoptive parents — the ones providing the money.
American Adoptions is different. Everything that we do supports ethical adoptions. Our focus is on every member of the adoption triad, especially prospective birth parents and adoptees. We’ve put a few key services in place to confirm that we provide the best services to all of our clients, regardless of who they are or where they are in their personal adoption journey.
Read more about them below, or contact us now to speak with a trained adoption specialist.
1. Objective, No-Obligation Counseling and Support for Prospective Birth Mothers
Here at American Adoptions, we are proud of the services that we offer pregnant women considering adoption. Unlike other agencies, we never pressure women into adoption with misleading information. Instead, we make sure every woman who comes to us understands every option available to her: adoption, abortion and parenting. And, if she is interested in the last two, our specialists can provide references to resources she’ll need.
Many ethical issues in adoption stem from birth parents who were misled or misinformed about their choices and regret their adoption decision later in life. American Adoptions works its hardest to prevent that before the decision is made, and, after the decision is made, continues to provide support and counseling to birth parents as they move through the grief process.
2. Screening and Education for Adoptive Parents
Raising an adopted child comes with challenges. Unless they are properly prepared, even well-meaning adoptive parents can damage a child’s self-esteem and make it difficult for them to appreciate their adoption story.
Not just anyone can adopt successfully, so American Adoptions educates all of our adoptive parents ahead of time. We talk about all the aspects of adoption — not just the positive ones — and discuss with them their goals and ideals for adoption. Together, we create a plan for their adoption that adheres to ethical adoption standards and ensures they are 100% ready to deal with the realities of raising an adopted child.
But, before they even create their adoption plan, American Adoptions thoroughly screens each prospective adoptive parent to make sure they can provide a safe, healthy home environment. This screening involves in-person interviews, home study investigations, criminal background checks and more. At American Adoptions, our first priority is always safety of the child, and we take great care in ensuring they are only placed with safe, prepared families.
We also educate our adoptive parents about ethical adoption contact with birth parents: what to and what not to say, how to interact at a hospital meeting, and more. Even though adoptive parents are the ones providing funds for adoption services, we make sure they understand from the beginning that the adoption is not about them but about the pregnant woman and her unborn child.
3. Open Adoption Requirements
Many of the ethical issues in child adoption come from the prevalence of closed adoptions. Closed adoptions are often harmful for all involved; birth parents don’t get to choose their child’s parents or see their child grow up, adoptees don’t have access to their personal history, and adoptive parents don’t have the medical information they need to keep their child safe.
For these reasons and more, American Adoptions requires all adoptive parents to be open to pre- and post-placement contact with birth parents. We know how helpful open adoption is, and we cannot in good conscience allow an adoptive parent to enter into the process with outdated ideals and preferences. Prospective birth parents are always the ones who decide the frequency and manner of adoption contact, but we will always ensure there is an adoptive family who shares those same desires.
4. Experienced Legal Representation
An ethical private domestic infant adoption can only take place when both parties are informed of their legal rights and interests. American Adoptions retains a list of experienced, trusted attorneys throughout the United States, who will collaborate on your adoption journey.
Prospective birth parents will always know their adoption consent rights — when they can give it, when they can revoke it — and rights to receive living- and pregnancy-related expenses. Adoptive parents will understand the laws where they are adopting and how the requirements for that state will impact their journey.
Attorneys understand the ethical issues in adoption, and they will make sure the legal side is handled in a fair and precise way. For more information on the legal process of adoption, please reach out to a local adoption attorney.
5. Professional Licensing
American Adoptions is a licensed national agency, which means our work must meet certain standards and be reviewed by government officials. This holds us accountable for completing only ethical adoptions. You can rest assured that all of our agency work meets state laws and regulations to best serve our adoptive families, prospective birth parents and adoptees.
Unlike other adoption agencies, American Adoptions is licensed in multiple states. This means we are reviewed by several government offices, whereas other agencies are only reviewed by one office. More eyes on our work means holding ourselves to a higher standard than other agencies — leading to only the highest ethical adoption practices.
So, when it comes to ethical adoption agencies, there’s no better choice than American Adoptions. We are dedicated to providing safe, legal and successful adoption journeys for all of our clients, no matter what it takes. For more information about our program and services, please reach out anytime.
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