Yet Another Agency…

26 Mar

Modern adoption is not what it was many years ago. It is no longer a secretive subject. Most children who were adopted now know about their adoption story. In fact, most adoptions today are open or semi-open adoptions, meaning they know their biological parent(s) in some capacity. About 90 percent of children in an open adoption report having positive feelings about their circumstance. Their parents are encouraged by adoption professionals to speak about adoption, share age-appropriate information, and celebrate their child’s unique story of being loved by two families instead of one.source

Shaking my head and wonder who the person is who has decided that we weren’t told we were adopted or that it was a secretive subject, that we didn’t have an adoption story, or maybe they all share the same copywriter and don’t read what is produced before posting. This makes three posts now, each by a different adoption agency, each alluding that adoptees in the past didn’t know they were adopted, didn’t have an adoption story and it was a secret. And yes, there were some who never told their child they were adopted, just as some still don’t today, but that’s on the adoptive parents, not how adoption was practiced when they adopted.

1851Massachusetts passed the first modern adoption law, recognizing adoption as a social and legal operation based on child welfare rather than adult interests. Historians consider the 1851 Adoption of Children Act an important turning point because it directed judges to ensure that adoption decrees were “fit and proper.” How this determination was to be made was left entirely to judicial discretion.

Telling the child they were adopted. from The Adoption History Project at the University of Oregon

Adoption in America – Historical Perspective edited by E Wayne Carp

The MTARP multi wave study started in the early 80’s re openness.

Today’s adoption is not some massive change that just happened, “Modern Adoption” happened back in the mid 1850s in Massachusetts with the first adoption law that legally severed the child from their biological family, instead of merely doing a legal name change, if they did anything – see below. But even the Modern Adoption didn’t last long, the Progressive Era happened between 1900-1917 when adoption standards were put in place, child welfare agencies came into being with the goal of keeping families together, and when that couldn’t happen that consent to sever biological ties happened, fathers had rights, investigations of adoptive parents happened and independent adoptions shouldn’t happen, states also put adoption laws in place. In 1938 the CWLA published it’s first adoption standards.

Most know about the Baby Scoop Era that started in the early 1940’s and ended in the early 1970’s. And then after that babies were hard to come by so Adoption Agencies had to get creative trying to keep the supply up to the demand. This article from 1990 “Childless Couples Create Market for Iowa’s ‘Baby Crop’ : Families: Healthy, ‘country-fresh’ infants from the heartland are in demand. Would-be parents seek to bypass stringent regulations.” While that article reflects the lack of adoptable infants, it also reflects the growing openness of adults wanting to adopt, the Penny Saver ads, Newspaper ads, now sites showing adoption profiles, FB. Not sure what to call the Era of Adoption we are now in, but it isn’t Modern Adoption, that ended in the early 1900’s when all hell broke loose, the investigations into baby-selling, baby-farming, the subcommittee hearings on black market adoptions mid 1950’s happened. And now, by all the private adoptions and adoption profiles everywhere, people actively soliciting pregnant woman on FB and elsewhere – it needs a definition of the Era we are in but the era isn’t very pretty. Maybe the Openness Era of Adoptions that can Close in a Heartbeat?

Whatever this era is called – can we ditch the “Modern Adoption” catchphrase and call it something else?


“While the practice of adoption has been around for millennia, the recent history of adoption in the United States can be tracked to the 1850s, with the passage of the first “modern” adoption law in Massachusetts that recognized adoption as a social and legal process based on child welfare(opens in new window) rather than adult interests. The 1850s also began the era of the orphan trains that relocated children from New York to live with families throughout the United States and Canada. In this section, find information on the history of adoption practice in the United States, including major Federal legislation dating back to 1974.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 26, 2022 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics


Tags: , , , , ,

One response to “Yet Another Agency…

  1. beth62

    March 28, 2022 at 3:52 am

    What a pile of…

    Some adoptive parents lie to their children, today just as they did yesterday.
    Just like they lie to the adoption agencies too. Who’s surprised? It’s nothing new.

    There is still nothing in place to stop the lies or protect the children who are adopted from the lies. The failsafe of closed records still exists in most places.

    As someone who is adopted and can read – I find their new marketing strategy (a lame, twisted and slimy attempt to hide the stench of legal secrets) insulting.

    Plus, it reads like a middle school student’s report on some subject they didn’t want to research much. Just copied a few easily found facts that fit their conclusion and obviously barely have a grasp of the subject.

    Liked by 1 person


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