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Domestic vs. International Adoption

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Domestic and international adoption cases in the United States escalated after the close of the Second World War. Notably, the United States leads among the countries that adopt children internationally. As much as adoption occurs for the sake of improving the livelihood of a child, this matter has recently abounded several arguments regarding whether people should adopt children domestically or internationally.

Those supporting domestic adoption have advanced several points in support of their arguments, and these include the fact that there are legal rights that protect the parents that have adopted a child domestically; thus, the birth parents cannot seek contact or ownership of their child again. Secondly, the cost incurred from adopting domestically is cheaper compared to adopting a child internationally. Thirdly, domestic adoption avails the new parents with information regarding the medical history of a child. Besides, there are an immense number of children available to be adopted locally. And lastly, the foster homes in the United States are undergoing intense pressure seeking to find willing couples to adopt children.

On the other hand, those opposing adoption of children domestically advance that although America has children for adoption, it only avails older children, and in most cases, people prefer adopting infants to older children. In addition, the opponents claim that the United Foster care system is a mess; that is why people shy away from adopting children domestically. Thus, this essay observes both sides of the argument, while supporting the fact that children should be adopted domestically.

First of all, proponents of domestic adoption advance that the United States has enough children to serve the purpose of adoption. The United States Department of Health and Services indicate that between the period 1999 and 2006, the United States had an average of 129, 000 children who were up for adoption. American Adoptions Agency indicates that “this provides a reason why couples or single parents should consider adopting children domestically rather than internationally”. In addition, research asserts that the 2000 census revealed that there were more than 1.5 million children under the age of 18 years in the United States. From this number, 2 percent of the children had joined their families in the United States through adoption, which means that there were still a huge number of children available locally that were not adopted. Considering this point, it is essential to note that there are a huge number of unwanted children anticipating adoption. Thus, the US federal government has the mandate to protect its citizens first than those from other nations, because children in foster homes continue to suffer due to denial of their rights regarding pursuit of happiness and opportunity.

Secondly, proponents of domestic adoption advance that there is sufficient legal redress to ensure that the birth parents will not seek to repossess their child back. It points out that before the adoption process is finalized, several legal procedures have to be observed (Adopt America). Thus, the birth parents have to consent to relinquish their child in order to prevent future confrontations with the new parents. Secondly, proponents advance that the court provides immunity to the new parents as it establishes a parent-child relationship between the new parents and the adopted child, which renders the new parents responsible for the child. Lastly, the courts have laws forbidding the birth parents against any form of stalking, which guarantees the new parents the safety of their new child. For these very reasons, Americans should be encouraged to adopt domestically rather than spend long hours seeking to adopt a child internationally (American Adoptions Agency).

The third argument advanced by the proponents of adopting domestically is based on the cost incurred by those seeking to adopt children. According to research, a huge misconception exists regarding the cost of adopting children internationally as compared to domestically. Some people believe that adopting children internationally is cheaper as compared to adopting a child domestically, but proponents refute this by claiming that the costs of adopting children both internationally and domestically are the same, provided there are no special incidents that may influence the cost. According to Adopt America, in both cases of adoption, there is some money spend, which they term as unique costs. For instance, considering international adoption of children, it entails money for a visa, while domestic adoption involves expenses regarding support of the expectant mother, which might be in the form of utility payments or rent, and such costs are not present in international adoptions. Particularly significant under this point is the fact that international adoption requires travelling to the target country, which might take several days or weeks coupled with several visits to the family seeking to adopt their child in order for the transaction to be completed. This proves that domestic adoption is preferable to international adoption.

The fourth point advanced by proponents of domestic adoption centers around availability of medical and social history of a child under adoption. Proponents intimate that many couples adopting internationally are not able to get sufficient information regarding the medical and social history of a child (American Adoptions Agency). Thus, they end up adopting children without knowing their family medical history; for example, the adopting parents may not be aware of the probable exposure of the child’s parents to drugs before the child was born, which increases costs regarding medical rehabilitation or treatment of the adopted child. However, people who adopt domestically are furnished with full information regarding a child’s medical history. Notably, those seeking to adopt domestically are provided with medical information prior to the adoption process, so that they can decide if they are satisfied with a certain match or not.

Lastly, Adopt America indicates that “the foster care is under critical pressure to find willing persons to adopt children”. This follows several surveys that have been done regarding the number of children who end up in foster cares every year. A report provided by ABC news intimates that more than 450, 000 kids are taken in by foster care every year. This translates to 22 billion dollars every year that are spent on these children; since close to 40, 000 dollars is spend on one kid for annual upkeep. Proponents assert that this is humiliating to the taxpayers, whose money could be spent more rationally. In addition, reports provide that more than 18 percent of the kids in foster care stay for up to five years, which is an additional cost to the taxpayers. Thus, with these points, the proponents assert that domestic adoption should be preferred to international adoption.

However, opponents refute these claims as they also advance other points supporting their view. The opponents of domestic adoption advance that although America has a good population of children to be adopted, the country significantly lacks young children placed for adoption, as most of the children available in the country are children above the age of five years. Thus, the opponents indicate that this denies the prospective adopters an option to choose from, as some would wish to adopt infants so that they can develop an emotional attachment with the child. In addition, the opponents indicate that foster cares are a mess as they provide a great many of stringent procedures that have to be followed by a person seeking to adopt a child. However, this point has been already addressed above, and it has been revealed that the procedure involved in both domestic and international adoptions vary a little, especially in terms of costs incurred.

In conclusion, various arguments have been presented regarding the issue of adoption in the US, with some quarters supporting international adoption and others advocating for domestic adoption. However, the proponents of domestic adoption seem to have stronger points in comparison to those advanced by the opponents. The points advanced by the proponents for domestic adoption include the fact that US has a huge population of children who require to be adopted and who also deserve their right to opportunity and a good life, which can be facilitated by the government. Secondly, the US domestic adoption is more advantageous because a child’s medical history is provided, and it is done before a couple gets to adopt a child so that they can decide if they are interested in a match. Thirdly, the foster care in the US is experiencing a critical pressure to have people adopt children because of the financial costs involved in raising the children, who sometimes end up spending more than five years in the home. Lastly, it is relatively cheaper to adopt children domestically given the travel advisories associated with international travels. Thus, it is clear that domestic adoption is preferable to international one.

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