Q: Why do some people wait so much longer for a domestic adoption match?
A: The adoption landscape has shifted and expectant or birth parents interested in making a domestic adoption plan are often struggling with many factors that make it both difficult for them to parent and difficult to find appropriate adoptive families. These issues can include mental health concerns, economic struggles, drug or alcohol use, and/or lack of support. Perspective adoptive parents need to decide their individual level of comfort with open adoption, openness to parenting a child of a different race, openness to drug and/or alcohol exposure during pregnancy and openness to potential health issues of the child. These factors make some perspective parents a quicker and easier match to make while others wait significantly longer.
To describe a specific example, we know that most birth parents are interested in open adoption as the literature supports openness as a healthier choice for all members of the adoption triad. Of course, openness is on a continuum. For some, an open adoption means sharing photos once a year, for others it involves sharing meals weekly. Prospective adoptive parents must decide where they fall on this continuum and depending on their decision, they may wait quite a bit longer than others.
(Kara Eusebio is the Associate Director of Outreach with Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children in New York City.) This topic was discussed in more detail on the Creating a Family show: “Adoption 101: Everything to Know When You Decide to Adopt” as well as our blog “First 3 Things You MUST Do When You Decide to Adopt.”Image credit: mag3737