The Facts About Adoption
How to Have an Ethical Adoption
The adoption process has to be done right. There’s too much at stake.
- The life of a child
- The future of an adoptive family
- The rights of the birth parents
This is a delicate, complex process. Everyone involved has to be held to a high standard. The rights of the prospective birth parents — which until recently were often ignored — must be protected. And, of course, everything must be done in the best interests of the child. In short: Ethical adoption is essential.
For pregnant women considering adoption, it can be helpful to understand how you can take part in an ethical adoption. If you’re looking for an ethical adoption definition or ethical adoption agencies, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will give you the basic information you need to know to make sure your adoption process respects your rights and puts your child in a good situation.
If you have more questions while reading, you can reach out online at any time to be connected with an adoption agency.
Ethical Adoption Definition
Every adoption is unique, which means it is difficult to come up with one blanket statement to cover every ethical adoption. However, all ethical adoptions are defined by some variation of these characteristics:
- The pregnant woman is never coerced or pressured
- The agency facilitating the adoption is fully licensed
- The adoptive parents complete in-depth screening
- The adoption is open or semi-open
- The agency offers post-placement support
Ethical Issues in Child Adoption
There are many competing opinions on adoption and ethics. A quick Google search will bring plenty of results discussing challenging topics. Some of the biggest ethical issues in adoption are:
Birth Parent Rights: A woman who chooses adoption for her baby is often in a vulnerable situation. Adoption, unfortunately, has a dark history of ignoring the rights of prospective birth parents. Today, protecting these rights is one of the most important ethical issues in child adoption. This means that any woman considering adoption should be given honest, objective information. She should be aware of her right to change her mind at any time, and she should never be pressured into choosing adoption.
Adoption Finances: The cost associated with the process for adoptive parents is consistently a hot topic of debate. How can we weigh the cost of necessary (and required) services against the need to make adoption accessible to families of varying incomes? Additionally, the issue of adoption financial assistance for prospective birth parents can be a point of contention in discussions of ethical adoption.
Family Preservation vs. Permanency: Should efforts and funding be directed toward the adoption process or toward keeping biological families together? There’s not a clear answer, and many advocates recognize that the complex nature of protecting children means that both family preservation and adoption are necessary. Still, it’s one of the most heated and complicated debates of the ethical issues in adoption.
Regulatory Requirements: Some individuals blame the cost of adoption for adoptive families on burdensome regulations, while others argue that these regulations are vital for protecting the rights of children and birth parents. Is there a balance between protecting the process and creating unnecessary red tape?
All of this can quickly begin to feel overwhelming.
The truth is that there are several simple, concrete steps that you can take to ensure you have an ethical adoption.
How to Make Sure You Have an Ethical Adoption
The most ethical way to adopt is simpler than that topics mentioned above may make it seem. That’s not to dismiss the complexities of the issues. But, there are a two clear, straightforward actions that anyone considering adoption can take if they want to be sure they have an ethical adoption.
Research the process: You’re already taking the first step toward an ethical adoption. Understanding how the process works is a way to protect your rights as a prospective birth parent. When birth parents are taken advantage of, it’s usually by an unlicensed organization that provides false information. When you do your own research, you arm yourself with the information to stand up to these bad actors.
Find ethical adoption agencies: The most important thing you can do to pursue ethical adoption is to find ethical adoption agencies. Working with the right agency will ensure that your process is completed according to the highest legal and ethical standards.
How can you find ethical adoption agencies? Let’s take a more detailed look at this important step in your adoption process.
Ethical Adoption Agencies
Not all agencies are created equal. Thankfully, there are some things to look for that every ethical adoption agency will have.
The first and most important character trait of ethical adoption agencies is licensing. An agency should be fully licensed, which means they are held to the highest legal standards at the state and federal level. Objective third parties regularly review a fully licensed agency, which means you can be sure they are using ethical adoption practices.
Some adoption service providers, such as facilitators and law centers, are not licensed in the same way. While they can provide the necessary services, there are less accountability measures in place to ensure that they are doing things the right way.
After licensing, ethical adoption agencies will always promote open adoption. Closed adoptions are responsible for many of the ethical issues in child adoption. At this point, it is considered outdated to promote closed adoption. Ethical adoption agencies will promote open adoption and have programs in place to educate adoptive parents about how to raise a child who is adopted.
A staff full of trained and certified specialists will also be a consistent quality of ethical adoption agencies. Agencies who are staffed by trained counselors are prepared to provide the necessary support for this challenging and emotional journey. These agencies will also be honest about the hard parts of adoption, rather than trying to pretend like it’s all going to be easy.
Finally, ethical adoption agencies will never pressure you into choosing adoption. If you feel pressure at all when you are talking to a potential adoption service provider, then that is a red flag. This is your choice, and you can always do what is best for you.
Ready to start researching ethical adoption agencies? Start here:
Contact Us Today
Do you have more questions about ethical adoption? Sometimes, it can be helpful to speak with a professional. Please contact us today to be connected with an ethical adoption agency. This connection is always free, and you are never obligated to choose adoption.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.