Adoption is a life changing process that rescues children in need and creates families. Despite the process being so worthwhile, only few people choose to adopt children. These children do not necessarily have time on their side, by the time they reach the age of 2 their chances of being adopted decrease drastically as people tend to favor newborns. Before adopting my sister, I never realized the true nature of this issue. We’ve already identified the problem and the solution, yet the size of the problem ceases to decrease. Why is that?
The long process plays a large role in adoption’s lack of popularity. It took my family over three years to adopt my sister and there were multiple times when we almost gave up. Keeping the needed paperwork updated and trying to communicate with the various agencies can be tedious work. Not living in India made the task more difficult, as we had to fulfill the requirements of the adoption agencies in both the United States and India. Although adoption does take a substantial amount of time, the length of the procedure does not cause so much of a hindrance that people choose not to adopt. You go into the process knowing it will take time.
The even larger barrier is the social stigmas surrounding adoption. It is commonly believed that something is wrong with a family that has adopted, that they are somehow less of a family because of it. Making comments about someone’s choice to adopt rather than to have their ‘own’ child or refusing to recognize the adopted child as a valid member of the family only add the problem, as they alienate the child from their family. These types of methods are very common, showing how deeply rooted these stigmas are in our society and causing adoption to seem immoral.
The cure for such social stigmas is simple-knowledge. We need to learn to embrace adoption and no longer see adopting a child in a negative light. Adoption is not a topic that is often acknowledged and has only been tackled in mainstream media a few times through movies such as Annie and Lion. By choosing to discuss adoption rather than hide it, we can increase the rate of adoption and simultaneously decrease the social stigmas against it. The differences of the child should be celebrated, not shamed.