The process of adoption is one that has been around for many years. For years, most people viewed adoptive parents as those unable to conceive, had previous unsuccessful deliveries, or were faced with the possibility of severe birth defects. However, like most things in life the perception of adoption has gradually changed with time. Today, some adoptive families are formed in this way and for this reason, but there are many new ways in which adoption brings families together.

Today adoption may include infants born both in the United States and abroad. Unlike, adoptions of the past many individuals and couples have become more open to adopting children rather than solely focusing on newborns and babies. Many of today’s adoptions involve children joining their new families at any age before 18. In addition to changes as well as acceptance for older children families interested in adoption have become more open to adopting children of different races.

Children may be adopted individually or as part of a sibling group. The adoption process can take on more than one form, such as a domestic adoption which includes adoption through private adoption agencies, independently with the assistance of an attorney, or other intermediary, as well as adoption through public agencies. The latter form of adoption involves children who are adopted via the foster care system after attempted to reunite with biological parent or parents have failed. Adoptions through this process can also include adoptions by relatives, known as kinship adoption. In international adoption, children are placed from other countries such as Russia, Africa, Asia, etc.

Couples interested in adoption, adopt for many different reasons that can include but are not limited to the need to start or build upon an existing family, or provide a stable environment for a child in need. Unlike, adoptions of the past where it was nearly impossible to adopt a child as a single person, both males and females are adopting today than ever before, as well as gay and lesbian couples.

The often long and demanding process of adoption can feel overwhelming, to a lot of people. The ongoing paperwork can be exhausting and redundant in order to gain approval just for the process to begin. Adoption can create stress individually, for relationships, as well as for marital couples. The stress on a marriage or relationship can be great, especially if one partner is ready to proceed with adoption, the other one has given up, or if the financial costs are creating a hardship.

Although I have focused on adults during the adoption process we must also remember some of the issues children face during this process as well. Children involved in the process often display confusion, anxiety, sadness, happiness, fears, etc., through behavior. When children are having trouble with feelings related to adoption, their behavior often reflects it.

Behaviors to be cognizant of during the adoption process include:

  • Self-isolating behaviors
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patters or interruptions in these patterns
  • Angry or aggressive outburst
  • Unusual fears and anxiety
  • Changes in grades or academic performance