Ethical Issues with Domestic Infant Adoption

Radio Show





What are some of the ethical issues in domestic infant adoption? When you adopt a baby, how can you be assured that it is done ethically? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility and adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Ashley Kodet and Susan Myers, District Supervisors with Adoptions from the Heart Adoption Agency.


+ Highlights of the show (click to expand)

  • Expectant mother recruitment/ advertising by adoption agencies and adoption attorneys for expectant mothers.
  • Is it possible to advertise in an ethical way?
  • Why do many, if not most adoption agencies call an expectant mother a birthmother? How is that not designed to subtly enforce the outcome the agency wants to happen?
  • Expectant mother options counseling: How can agencies support all choices expectant mom’s make?
  • Are adoption agencies or attorney’s the right people to be doing adoption option counseling for prospective birth mothers or couples? Is there an inherent conflict of interest?
  • How can prospective adoptive parents help obtain pre-birth and post-placement counseling for birthparents?
  • What type of accountability is reasonable in terms of how long the wait will be for an adoptive family?
  • Is it ethical to charge less for an adoption of an African American baby than a white baby?
  • Is it ethical to promote open adoption when open adoption contracts are often not enforceable?
  • How can adoptive parents choose an agency that is respectful of the rights of birth fathers?


Subscribe to Creating a Family Radio:

Image credit: Dannon Loveland

11/01/2017 | by Radio Show | Categories: 2017 Shows, Adoption, Adoption Radio Shows, Radio Show | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Ethical Issues with Domestic Infant Adoption

  1. Avatar Rebecca Bennett Duke says:

    I listened to this on the heals of our agency (IAC — Independent Adoption Center) closing suddenly and unexpectedly last week after 34+ years. There has been a lot of discussion (in online groups) regarding the ethical responsibilities of the agency to the adopting family. I am very much against the commodification and commercialization of adoption, and I don’t want to seem entitled to have a baby if I pay money, however it almost seems at odds protecting ourselves. It seemed like from the numbers — 150 adopting per year and 500-800 waiting families, with more signing up all the time, that we were being fleeced.

    Is there a reasonable ratio we should be requesting? There should be more waiting families than birth mothers to give a fair number of options to the later party, but what is fair?

    We want to sign up with an agency that puts birthmothers first and provides counseling, but we’re feeling very wary after all this…

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      Rebecca, I am so very sorry that this is happening to you. We have a multimedia guide that will guide you on exactly what to look for and what questions to ask. Nothing is a 100% guarantee, but you can rule out a lot of potential problems if you know what to look for. Creating a Family Multimedia Guide on Choosing an Adoption Agency or Attorney (

      I truly wish you the very best of luck!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑

Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.