What is Adoption? | Adoption in Missouri
By Sofia Becker
As a birth mother who is looking into adoption in Missouri, you might have a lot of questions. After all, adoption is a huge world to navigate, and giving a child up for adoption is a big decision. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m considering adoption for my baby, but I need help with understanding adoption,” we at Adoption Choices of Missouri would love to help you understand the definition and history of adoption.
What is Adoption?
In Webster’s dictionary, to adopt means “to take by choice into a relationship.” Adoption is, by choice, a voluntary action for many adoptive parents. That is the easiest definition that we can go by. For everyone involved in the adoption process, the word itself means different things. Ranging from becoming the happiest family ever to having the best childhood ever, adoption changes everyone’s life in a different way.
“Adoption” can also mean different things to people. To someone who has had a closed adoption or anything related to that, it might have negative connotations to them depending on their experience. But to the ones who are and have been open about their adoptions, they have learned to embrace their own identity for themselves and not be ashamed; they are able to talk about the immeasurable love that their birth mothers had for them in giving them their best chance at having a beautiful childhood and good life.
It is also important to understand that “adoptive” means “made or acquired by adoption,” which refers to parents who have adopted a child. One should only use this term during the adoption process to aid with understanding the different terms. After the process is complete, this term should be dropped.
A Brief History of Adoption
Before 1851, adoption wasn’t legal – there were no laws that actually protected adopted children. Folks would adopt in secret to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy. If the child was unwanted or the birth mother was deemed unfit to raise them, children almost always found themselves in an orphanage or with extended family who were willing to take them. The adoptions that did take place usually held the best interests of the child in mind and were taken seriously.
In 1851, Congress enacted the Adoption of Children Act to make adoptions legal and safe for children. Subsequently, organizations began popping up striving to help adopted children in any way possible. In the 1970s, agencies took over and adoptions reached a peak. Adoption Choices of Missouri was formed in 2006 or thereabouts to help facilitate adoptions better.
Impact of Adoption
Adoption impacts you, the birth mother, in different ways. It’s often a hard decision to struggle with and can be traumatic. It’s normal to deal with a lot of emotions all at the same time – especially loss. Some people view adoption as the “easy way out”. You might feel guilt or shame for having given up your child and it might affect your other relationships in a negative way.
To understand how to deal with the impact that it has on you, it is important for you to find the support that you need to help you through the transition. Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you learn to deal with the impact of adoption in a healthy way and connect you with support groups.
What is Adoption in Missouri?
Coming into the world of adoption can be a whirlwind. Understanding the definition and history of adoption can help with understanding its impact on the adoptive family and the adoptee. Please know that if you have any questions, Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you.