Parents who hope to adopt face challenges in adopting during the pandemic. Also, there have been changes in parents' minds on adoption.
In Texas, adoption agencies have recorded a lower number of adoption placements in 2020. Although there are no known causes as to why this happened, there are several reasons that reports point to be the cause.
Challenges in adopting during the pandemic
As early as April, The New York Times has already reported the challenges encountered by parents who hope to adopt.
Those who are finalizing their adoptions had to wait for government offices to open. This problem is particularly true to families who were adopting from overseas.
As one parent in the The New York Times article recalled, the process became an emotional one, "My girls have been so excited and took a lot of ownership in helping make sure their brother's room was good to go and welcoming." This parent was adopting a boy from China during that time.
In Texas, a parent who recently adopted also shared that the challenges in adopting during the pandemic were different nowadays.
She shared in an interview with KXAN, "Normally you would meet them in person and you would get to know them while they are still pregnant."
Also, meetings were done online instead of face-to-face, making settling down difficult for the adoptive parents.
Also, newborn babies are not seen by their adoptive parents right after being born because of hospital restrictions. Some hospitals do not even allow adoptive parents in the delivery room.
Changes in parents' minds on adoption
According to the executive director of Adoption Advocates, Inc., Rory Hall, they noticed changes in parents' minds on adoption. Specifically, these changes were observed among the birth moms.
Hall said that more birth moms decided that instead of putting their newborn babies up for adoption, they kept the babies instead. She said, "20-25% of moms who make an adoption plan decide to parent even after a match or after the baby is born."
In 2020, more parents decided that they wanted to parent even after being matched to families who would like to adopt.
Although it is still not clear why birth moms chose to keep their babies, Hall thinks that it is due to the circumstances brought by the pandemic.
One of the reasons Hall saw was that more people had to stay home either because they are now working from home or because they lost their job. Because of this, more family members are available to take care of a newborn baby.
Also, Hall believes that the isolation and loneliness brought by the pandemic play a significant role. She said, "You feel very vulnerable and you want to keep your loved ones close to you."
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