Adoption has grown to be more popular than it once was a half a century ago. Very few families adopted children years ago because of the stigma that was attached to it for all members of the adoption triad. Today in every magazine there are photos of celebrities with their adopted children going about their daily lives. Adoption is understood and accepted by the majority of people in America. Surveys show that most adoptions do end up working out well.
One might then expect that adoption would no longer bear nearly so much of a stigma than it had, when all three embers of the triad, “the unwed mother, the bastard child, and the barren couple,” were often made to feel embarrassment and even shame (Brown, 1992). There are different stigmas pertaining to each member in the triad. Depending on how one defines stigma, sets whether or not they have one toward adoption. The more broad definitions would point out that there are fewer stigmas, for example, an adopted will not face discrimination when it comes to employment.
Link and Philae (2001) offer a more limited definition that is useful in the evaluation of an adoption. The definition is a social identity that is devalued in a particular social context. Going by this definition, adoption does appear to still have a stigma attached to it when looking at actual behavior and not Just at general attitudes of people about the subject. If one looks at behavior rather than attitudes you can assume that adoption may still be a “devalued status” in the sense that Americans regard it as a last alternative to having biological children and it is a status that they seem to go in far lengths to avoid (Fisher, 2003).
In the case of prospective parent’s are concerned, adoption is a possibility that is often considered, but not often chosen. Four in ten Americans say that they have considered adoption at some point, but one 1 in 50 women actually applied to an adoption agency. It is safe to say that Americans have positive attitudes about adoption at a general level yet at the same time they have specific doubts and fears about it (Fisher, 2003). It’s easier for the population to say wonderful things about adoption and to pick adoption as an option for other people, but when considering it for oneself the views are very different.
Traditionally, in he North American culture, the blood bond has been the predominant factor in strong family ties, this is where the main source of the stigma for adoptive parent’s and adopter’s comes from. There is a tendency for outsiders to make assumptions about the family ties between the parent and the child. They assume that adoptive family ties are second best and that adoptive children are second choice (March, 2000). Families choose adoption for various reasons but it is seen more now than ever.
National surveys have indicated that most Americans say they have high regard for the institution of adoption and those who are a part of it. A recent survey of a representative national sample of 1416 Americans age 18 and older concluded that there is “overwhelming support” for adoption, with 63% of all Americans saying that they have a “very favorable” opinion about adoption (National Adoption Attitudes survey, 2000). One AT ten touchiest topics affecting all memoirs AT ten Patton trial Is winter to have an open or closed adoption. This was not always the case.
As late as the sass, most Americans would not have considered the subjects of adoption or closed records controversial. In fact, most Americans viewed them in positive terms because hey seemed to solve many social problems. Single women escaped the stigma of having a child out of wedlock and were able to get on with their lives, which usually meant getting married (Carp, 2002). Children escaped the stigma of having parent’s that could not care for them and found a good home with two loving parent’s. Childless couples found a solution to the problem of their infertility (Carp, 2002).
At this time, most Americans, social workers in particular, did not anticipate any ethical or moral problems with this arrangement. Sealed adoption records protected everyone, social workers failed to anticipate the nature of human development Morgan, 1991). Adopted children grew up, and many of them, especially women, wanted to know something about their biological families. Many also wanted to meet their birth parent’s, usually their mothers. By the late sass, the stigma of having a child out of wedlock or being a child born out of wedlock had greatly lessened (Morgan, 1991).
As more single persons adopt and homosexual couples decide to become parent’s, more and more adoptions are taking place here in America. The stigma behind having adopted children lessens as it becomes more popular and people except gay and lesbian marriage. As I did my research about stigma and adoption the first thing I realized was that much of the studies that have been done were quite old, not many were from the last few years. Even in the few more recent ones, they all used sources from the ass’s and ass’s as their base.
Gay and lesbian marriage has only become popular with in the last few years being and accepted by law. As more and more homosexual couples marry the more people are willing to accept it. It becomes accepted and something that seems normal to people. With a rise in homosexual marriages we see these couples starting families. I would have liked to see a number of recent studies retaining to stigma now that homosexual couples are having children. I think that stigma does impact people greatly when it comes to child rearing and is worth examining and conducting research based around this group of people.
It would be interesting to see the differences in adopter’s from heterosexuals versus homosexuals. Another topic that would help understand adoption and stigma would be to conduct a study on whether adopter’s themselves become adoptive parent’s, to find out their opinions on relationships and if they favor one over the other. The answers they give could produce insight on if they have viewed being adopted as a stigmatize status. Also the opinions on this from adopters from different time periods to grasp on what level has the stigma pertaining to adoption changed.
Stigma and adoption is something that has changed over the years, mainly because of the popularity of it in the United States. I think that the stigmas lessen when outsiders have been exposed to all members of the triad and they are educated on the topic. With stigma it’s difficult to find positives that come along with it, many of the articles only focus on the negative effects and the negative views that people associate with adoption even though a majority of adoptions do work out well. I personally ay not tank Donnas nave anything to ay Witt Delve D related or not.