We hear about kids all around the world being in need of adoption. We see the commercials trying to get those kids out of their situation, but what about the kids right here in America that need adopted. On average American families adopt 140,000 children per year, only 25,000 of them are from America. According to the governments children bureau, out of all the children who need adopted in America 400,540 kids are currently in foster care. These children have been placed in foster care for many reasons, sadly the most common are physical abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment or neglect. In 2007, 37 percent of children who were adopted were adopted from foster care. The children are often adopted by their foster care parents or relatives, but sometimes child welfare has to recruit prospective adoptive parents.
Freshman Taylor Davidson is one of the lucky people who found a home.
“I was adopted when I was seven-years-old,” Davidson said. “My mom does Meth. The reason I got adopted was because my mom couldn’t take care of us.”
June and John Gothberg are Taylor’s legal guardians.
“It wasn’t a hard change; I had been going to their house a lot before, I had known them since I was born, my mom just wasn’t there anymore,” she said.
Taylor isn’t technically adopted into June and John’s family.
“My mom wouldn’t sign the huge stack of adoption papers, just in case something changed,” Davidson said, “and we could come back. But it’s been six years. If she would’ve signed the papers, I technically couldn’t have any contact with her until I’m 18.”
Adoptions tend to take from months to years to finalize. International adoptions can take longer. According to americanadoptions.com, American adoptions can be finalized quicker and are more professional. With international adoption the cost contributes to everything from travel to a visa to bring the child home. With American adoptions the cost is less, but that also depends on what the situation is. In some cases, if the child isn’t born yet, the parent will have to pay for expenses for the biological mother, including rent and hospital charges. Another reason for adoption expense is the adoption agency chosen: the more well known the agency, the more it will cost. But many adoptive parents have said it’s worth it because of the connections and services that the larger agencies provide.
For some of the kids–especially older children–it’s hard to get adopted. Davidson was fortunate that she already knew her legal guardians since teens in her age group, 16 through 18, are adopted the least according to child welfare–only a 2 percent chance. Kids 11 through 15 weren’t much better, only 15 percent. Six through ten were the second most adopted at 33 percent. Kids ages one through five contribute for almost half of all adoptions at 44 percent. Children under two were the only group that got adopted less than teens, at under two percent.
Two percent of all people in the U.S are adopted. Many more kids wait to be placed in homes and many parents wait to adopt. Foster children have often been through the worst–going from home-to-home, and adoption is the one dream they have left, a dream that for some never comes true.
By Sierra Rehm