Making Adoption Available for Everyone
More and more these days, the phrase ‘my vote won’t make a difference’ is being spoken and believed, especially in concern to the Electoral College. However, that is not the case. Every vote, every voice will have an impact, particularly for the smaller, state-based issues. Almost every topic can be linked back to politics, and if there is something someone is passionate about making a difference in, paying attention to the root of the problem is the most important thing they can do. The topic I want to make a difference in is inequality in the adoption process.
Due to laws put into place, and popular ideologies backed by the law in the 20th century, adoption was made difficult, and even impossible for abnormal families. The term abnormal, when referred to the family dynamic looking to adopt, it means two parents of the opposite sex and the same race, who have never had past divorces and don’t have any biological children. This tells us that people without a partner, homosexual partners, couples with one or both members being transgender, and interracial couples were discriminated against when looking to adopt a child, and their discrimination was backed by the law. Agencies followed the popular ideologies to tee. For example, the reason adoption can be more taxing for interracial couples is because of a philosophy from the 20th century called ‘matching’ (Herman). Matching is the idea that a child should be placed with a family that they would naturally fit into; consistency in race and also sometimes religion. Agencies were ridiculed for placing children with parents who aren’t of the same race, and interracial parents were almost unheard of during the mid 1900s. In the early 20th century, “many state welfare officials enacted regulations making it difficult or impossible for agencies to place children in the care of single individuals”, and this idea was put into law in 1958 (Herman). It wasn’t until ‘68 that a law was passed by the Child Welfare League of America stating that children could go to single parents if they otherwise wouldn’t be adopted. Nowadays, “ biases that persist against single parent adoption in some circles reflect some of the disadvantages of single parenting, including greater financial pressures and the lack of a second parent with whom to share responsibilities” (Child Welfare Information Gateway).
People in political seats are the ones to put laws like this into motion, and everyday people have the power to decide who the politicians are, and the actions taken by the everyday people can make a bigger difference than actions taken by a few government officials. As the saying goes, the power of the people is greater than the people in power. In addition, presidential elections aren’t the only ones that matter. Electing state senators and congressmen is equally important. One must find out who the candidates are, what they stand for, and know when they can go and vote for them. Elections happen often, not just every four years, and taking an active part in them is critical.
Naturally, the laws put in place to prevent abnormal families from adopting children were eventually repealed, but prejudices are not disbanded overnight, and because of these past laws, adoption companies can still be reluctant towards abnormal families. There are ways to improve this situation however, and like many things, the answer lies in communication. Spreading the word about inequality, and making sure people realize it exists is the first step to getting rid of it. Regardless of what laws have been repealed or put into place in order to even the playing field, the demographic that falls under the ‘normal’ category still has a leg up. Equality takes time to achieve, but it can never be done if people aren’t aware of the inequality in the first place. Great places for such communication could be blogs, rallies, and articles, but even just talking to people will make a small difference.
Another tactic is writing letters to people in power. Everyone always mentions writing a letter to a state representative, but is it often done? Communicating to your politicians and governmental officials is key. Here is a link to a website that will tell you who represents your state in the House. Write a letter or an email about this subject or any that you want changed. In addition, writing about what you want changed is only a portion of what you can do. Propose a solution, tell governors about petitions or surveys you pan to do, and what these things will prove. Set up studies that will back up the point you want to make. In the subject of adoption, one could survey children adopted by abnormal families and ask how growing up in their environment positively affected them. According to Families Like Ours, homosexual parents are more likely to talk to their kids about difficult subjects which will will make children better able to deal with hardships since the parents most likely have already undergone so much. Finding information similar to this on your own, and then making it available to the public is one of the best ways to improve a situation (“Myths and Misinformation”).
At the end of the day, a small action is better than standing idly by. Sharing this post, or even talking about it to someone is a positive step in the right direction. Communication makes all the difference, and once word reaches the masses, politicians will be forced to please them or face not getting reelected. We hold the power because we are the voters. Government officials count on citizens not voting because the don’t think their vote will matter, but as soon as that dogma changes, they would be at our mercy. Any issue you want changed or improved would be possible is you became active in politics. Being knowledgable and active is not only important, but critical. Every voice matters, and every voice is significant.
“Adoption.” Unmarried Equality. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
“Adoption Statistics at the IAC 2011 – 2015.” Independent Adoption Center. N.p., n.d.
Web. 31 Mar. 2016.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Adopting as a single parent. Washington,
DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.
Herman, Ellen. “Adoption History: Single Parent Adoptions.” Adoption History: Single
Parent Adoptions. N.p., 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
“Myths and Misinformation.” Families Like Ours. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.