What would you predict about the future of international adoption? Who will be part of creating that future?
I have an article in the November issue of Adoption Today called “Predicting the Future of Intercountry Adoption.” That was the title of a panel I participated on at the Families First Conference last June. The conference was co-sponsored by the now defunct Joint Council on International Children’s Services and the National Council For Adoption.
Adoption Today asked if I would write an article on the same subject for them, and so I did, covering many of the points I offered at the Families First conference. Here is a brief summary of my predictions from a June blog post:
- Adoptions will continue to decline unless adult adoptees and first families are included in conferences and policy discussions in advocacy groups, Congress, the Hague, and around the world.
- Adoptions will continue to decline unless fraud and corruption are overtly acknowledged, not just discussed among agency workers.
- Openness will be the norm in international adoption, and needs to be promoted by agencies as a positive development. That said, openness is complicated.
- DNA technologies and social media will expand connections between adoptees and their birth/first families.
- Most international adoptions will be for special needs children, another reason that pre- and post-adoption and resources must be strengthened.
I hope you will take a look at my article and the others in Adoption Today.
Tomorrow, National Adoption Awareness Month (November) begins. While the commentary has historically been dominated by adoptive parents and adoption agencies, the voices of adoptees and first/birth parents are increasingly being heard. The social media movement #FlipTheScript by adoptees was powerful last November in opening eyes and in questioning long-held narratives that included only adoptive parents and adoption agencies.
I’ve no doubts that this November will see an even greater expansion of #FlipTheScript. That’s another hope-filled prediction, and I am looking forward to reading and learning. We need all the voices, and we need to understand that adoption casts a wide net. Engaging and listening are the only ways to create a better future.
May this November truly bring about an increased awareness of the genuine needs of children (who grow up!), and a deeper understanding of the far-ranging realities of adoption.