Monday, February 20, 2012

Economy a Factor in Declining Adoption?

The Northwest Herald suggests it's so, but admits it can offer little proof:
Suburban families continue to bring home adopted children, but the lingering effects of the recession may be limiting their numbers.

Statistical sources and anecdotal evidence point to a decline in the number of adoptions here. Thirty-three adoption cases were filed in McHenry County Circuit Court in 2010, less than half of the 79 cases filed in 2001. But records show the numbers were falling even before the recession began and case filings have remained nearly flat since 2008.

Statewide, the number of children adopted from foreign countries dropped from 1,052 in 2005 to 434 in 2011, according to the State Department. That closely follows a national decline for this type of adoption.

The decline in foreign adoptions is the result of a combination of factors, including corruption in source countries, added regulations and treaty disputes, said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of “Adoption Nation.”

The economy, both here and in other countries, likely plays a role, too.

“The recession has people wondering, ‘Can I take another mouth to feed?’” Pertman said. “But, as far as I know, no one has figured out how much of this is due to the economy.”
If the economy is affecting the decision to add children to a family, might it not also affect the decision to place a child for adoption?  Same article suggests the answer is yes, again with little empirical evidence:
On the other side of the issue, it’s not clear what effect the economy might be having on the number of children placed for adoption. Financial stress is one of the reasons some parents look to adoption and “it’s easy to imagine the economy would play into that,” Pertman said.
But there are many other factors that have an impact on adoption placement. In 2008, teen pregnancies dropped to the lowest levels in nearly four decades, according to a study published this month by the Guttmacher Institute. Teen birth and abortion rates also have declined, the study showed.

Ehrenpreis, of the Adoption Center for Family Building, said she had noticed many of the women placing children for adoption were in “much more dire circumstances,” possibly because of the recession.


Anonymous said...

My hunch tells me that the economy is less a factor that countries' closing, increasing wait times, uncertainties about IA program viability, potential heartbreak,new hurdles put in place by various programs/countries (and I'm talking about the seemingly useless ones, NOT the ones that well prepare and vet PAP's), etc.....

I think its one factor, but perhaps not the most telling?

Anonymous said...

As for IA, I don't think economy is as much to blame as poor preparation from agencies coupled with lack of information and/or withholding information about abuse in an orphanage to a child...resulting in some countries closing to IA. And also some countries realizing they were losing too many children to IA. If people want to adopt, and the timeline is reasonable, I don't think there would be a slow down at all, regardless of economy. They would find the money through their 401Ks or family members, or even fund raisers...instead of refinancing their house as people used to be able to do if they were tight on funds and wanted to adopt.
With the higher tax credits than ever before, the cost of adoption becomes virtually zero. And in fact, in many domestic adoptions right now, people are actually MAKING MONEY on adoption...THOUSANDS of dollars that they did not pay out, when they adopt. Add to that, stipends for domestic adoptions in cases considered SN, for no other "special need' than being of a certain race, and the money the same PAPs get for foster care, before adopting their child...domestic adoption can, many times, be LESS expensive than having a biological child.
People MIGHT consider not adopting if one of the PAPs recently lost their long term job, but again, with the high tax credit out there now, people make do with the lower monthly incomes, and choose adoption knowing that their adoption fees will be covered. I'm not really certain that domestic adoption is down, and in fact, I think there is more competition for domestic adoption PAPs than ever before now that many countries have stopped or slowed down IA. To be honest, I think without the high tax credit available right now, less adoptions would occur than because of poor economy.

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah!!!!!...oh and let's do away with that tax credit, too!!! Afterall, humans are not cars, or houses and we shouldn't be treated as chattel.


Anonymous said...

ummm...even with the tax credit, there are NO International adoptions that would be free.

None. Most cost between $25,000-50,000; a $10,000(approx.) tax credit hardly makes a dent for the most expensive programs.


Why not a credit for adoptive families? We pay to keep impoverished families fed, clothed, access to internet, cell phones, etc....our governments gives handsouts to just about every sub group of America....if we do away with one, then about all of them!

Truly Blessed said...


I have read comments similar to yours many times. And while I completely understand your sentiment -- people should NEVER been treated as a commodity to be bought and sold, I wonder if you feel that ALL adoptions should be completely outlawed and stopped completely.

If so, what about the older kids who are in foster care or orphanages? What about the special needs kids with medical needs that require extensive care and/or surgeries? What about sibling groups who have been in the foster care system and bounced around from foster home to foster home for years?

Should those kids who are already in the system be unable to be adopted?

I'm not trying to be smart, I really, truly want to hear your thoughts on this. Anyone else who wants adoption to be abolished, please help me understand where you are on the above scenarios.


Anonymous said...

-Mara, although I agree with you that children should not be bought and sold, it costs money to house children in foster care or orphanages. It costs money for them to have medical work done before becoming united with their families.
Many children are discarded as old chevys, and outdated hondas because they are might have SNs. Even children considered NSN in orphanages are truly SN children, at least minor SN. Some have NEVER had a real bath. And many have sensory issues because they have listened to white noise most of their young lives instead of being interacted with.
IF, by chance there were no babies/children in orphanages, and indeed, IF the commodity was being created mostly by means of kidnapping children (not the few cases we hear about, but the large majority). If, by chance, women were having babies for the sole purpose of having a baby to be placed into an orphanage, then in deed, there should be no more need for the tax credit. Adoption is expensive. Natural birth is expensive. Housing a child before adoption is expensive. Medical care for a child before adoption is expensive.
So, then the other side of that coin, should we also do away with prenatal health care being taken care of by health insurance benefits? Should giving birth have to be paid for out of pocket, regardless of the medical risks? What if a child were to be born, and the parents were denied health care because 'it should be done away with too', then the birth parents would have to decide to let the baby die or ruin themselves financially.
I do not think that PAPs should be able to profit from adoption expenses, simply because they adopted a SN child (SN due only to color), I do not think federal steppands should be granted to APs for adopting domestic SN children. Either you can adopt or you can't. BUT I do think that the actual real costs should be compensated, just as it is in a natural birth with medical coverage (or federal medical coverage if the parents can't afford health care). Why should a certain type of parent have their costs covered for the child just for giving birth, and another type not..just for being willing to raise a child they did not give birth to??? That makes no sense when you think about it, and it's a very biased way of thinking.
In a perfect world, there would be no children in foster care. There would be no children in orphanages around the world. There would be no children without supportive and loving parents. But there are. There are MILLIONS. So, by saying, Hallaluah to all of that, you are essentially saying, 'let the most vulnerable people NOW suffer. I understand your desire to not need adoptions, and to put stumbling blocks in front of those willing to step up to the plate. But please understand too, we as APs do not created the plate, we simply step up to it.
The desire to not need adoption should come from the birth parents (in some cases) who should use birth control. It should come from people bold enough to break the chain of cultural desire. It should come from common sense that if you cannot parent one child without being the cause of harms way of mental, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, then by all means get yourself sterilized and stop the madness. It should come from fully charged cultures saying it is NOT ok to drink while pregnant, and then discard the child when you notice it has FAS.
But until these things happen, children will be in foster care and in orphanages....tossed out or tossed around like the old cars you describe. Sure, if people did not step up to adopt them, or if only the rich could afford to adopt them, there would be less adoptions, possibly none if the barriers were high enough, but would there really be less babies and children in the orphanages? How can you think you found a cure when you can't even find the cancer?

Anonymous said...

The desire to not need adoption should come from the birth parents (in some cases) who should use birth control. It should come from people bold enough to break the chain of cultural desire.

... I laughed out loud at the absurdity of this.

The next time someone asks me why I don't plan to have kids, I'll be sure to tell them how I am "bold enough" to break the chain of cultural desire.

I'm sure my response will make complete sense to them, because you know, EVERYONE wants kids. EVERYONE.


c said...

anon 158am

"The desire to not need adoption should come from the birth parents (in some cases) who should use birth control."

Yep, the sluts should keep their legs closed.

You do realise that, with domestic infant adoption at least, a lot of the time, it is because birth control has failed.

Also, most of the domestic adoption counselling works on the assumption that a pregnant woman actually does have the desire to parent her own child but that she needs to be made to see that that desire is selfish.

As for the rest of your comment, I found it to be racist and patronising.

In regards to Truly Blessed - if you have a look at adoptee blogs and read them, you will get an idea of their views on adoption. You will probably find that many of us have a problem with the modern form of adoption, especially as practised in the US.

c said...

"The desire to not need adoption should come from the birth parents (in some cases) who should use birth control. It should come from people bold enough to break the chain of cultural desire."

I was watching a program and in it a lady aged about 29 was having her 13th child - no doubt anon 1.58 is thinking "Gasp, this is what I am talking about, why can't she refrain from giving into her carnal desires?". However, since she lived in the Phillipines, she didn't have easy access to birth control and it is rather more likely that her husband wasn't prepared to "break the chain of cultural desire". Women in other countries don't have the easy access to information, education and help that we do. Men need to be educated too.

GypsyQ said...

"The desire to not need adoption should come from the birth parents (in some cases) who should use birth control. It should come from people bold enough to break the chain of cultural desire."

This idiocy is tried and true by people who think they have some right to be in the private lives of complete strangers, namely other women who can become pregnant when they can not. Very creepy.

How do you know what kind of birth control someone does and does not use and why is that any of your business? Oh, that's right, it is your business because you want to help yourself to what is in her womb if and when that birth control fails and she is faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Makes perfect sense.