How has adoption changed over the years?
What do Moses, Aristotle, Babe Ruth, Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs all have in common? Each of these pioneering men was adopted. We wonder how each might answer the question, “How has adoption changed over the years?”
How has adoption changed and evolved?
For centuries, adoptions were parent-focused. They occurred when a child lost their parents, lived in poverty, was born out of wedlock or when more labor was required around the home. That began to shift in 1851, when Massachusetts passed the first modern adoption law. It recognized adoption as a legal operation based on child welfare, rather than adult interests.
Since then, how has adoption changed? Our Texas adoption agency lays out a brief timeline of adoption development over the years.
- 1910-1930: The first specialized adoption agencies were founded.
- 1917: Minnesota passed the first law mandating home studies before adoptions.
- 1912-1921: The U.S. Children’s Bureau and The Child Welfare League of America were founded. This helped to promote adoption research and advocacy, while folding unified practices into state laws around the country.
- Early-1970s: Adoptions reached their century-long peak. Adoption agencies arranged 80% of them.
- 1976: Concerned United Birthparents was founded.
The founding of the Concerned United Birthparents brought yet another important shift to modern adoption. The notion that birth parents – not social workers – should choose the families for their children began to gain traction. This led to decades of groundbreaking research that overwhelmingly proved this practice provided greater long-term health for everyone involved in adoption.
Our Texas adoption agency specializes in modern adoption
If you were to ask an adoptee born in 1960, “How has adoption changed over the years?” you might be surprised (and perhaps a little heartbroken) by their answer. They likely know very little about the circumstances that led to their birth parents to choose adoption.
Now, 95% of adoptions are “open.” Birth mothers choose the adoptive parents for their child, and some form of communication exists between the two families. Adoptees grow up knowing their birth story. In modern adoption, families report a sense of gratitude and pride.
Contact Legacy Adoption Services if you’d like to learn more about the loving option of modern adoption.