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ADOPTION A CHILD Powered By Docstoc

Adopting a child is often a remarkably satisfying solution for a couple who
want a family and are unable to have children. However, any husband and
wife considering adopting a child should give the matter thorough and
mature thought; it is obviously a far more serious question than whether or
not to buy a car or fur coat.
The decision to adopt a child is only the initial step. After the couple have
registered with a state-licensed adoption agency, it may be months or even
years before the agency is able to present them with a child to consider for
their own. Every legal adoption agency makes an exhaustive examination
into the husband's and wife's background, economic situation, religious
beliefs, personalities, general home life, physical condition, mental
capacity, and other areas. Children up for adoption have received an
equally thorough examination. For various reasons, not every couple is
eligible to adopt a child, nor every homeless child adoptable. The agency
attempts to place the child in a home most mutually congenial to the
prospective foster parents and to the child.
Prospective foster parents should try not to have rigid ideas regarding the
type of child they would like. A couple who have decided, for example,
that they want a curly-headed two-year-old girl are only impeding their
chance of getting any child.
The agency would like to feel that the child is desired for qualities more
important than curliness of hair and, more practically speaking, the number
of curly-headed two-year-old girls may be limited. Whenever possible, the
agency will try to match the child and couple in as many ways as it can.
Before legal adoption papers are finally taken out, there is a trial period
during which the couple have the child in their home and are able to decide
whether or not this is the child they want and the agency decides whether
placement is suitable.
The child with a positive Wassermann test has a condition which demands
a great deal of attention before he is suitable for adoption.
The child who has come from a family with tuberculosis may pass through
a long period of invalidism before he is healthy.
Mental deficiency can be recognized after three or four months of age, but
some mental taints do not appear until later in life. Some conception of the
amount of mental defect in the ancestry of the child being considered for
adoption is desirable.
Some hereditary defects can be controlled to a certain extent through
environment, but it is far safer to be sure of the heredity of the child and
not to take chances.
Most people who want to adopt a baby want an extremely young one so
that he will not know that the parents are not his own. It is undesirable to
adopt a baby during the first few days of his life. At least several months
should be given to observation of his physical and mental state before he is
taken by the family for rearing.
At the present time, the demand for children far exceeds the supply of
adoptable children available. Because of this scarcity, there have sprung up
all over the country black or gray-market adoption agencies which
financially exploit the often very intense desire of a husband and wife to
have a child as soon as possible. Anyone who adopts a child through such
illegal channels is taking a tremendous risk; since the black-market
agencies operate outside legal standards regarding adoptability of a child
and may have little or no accurate information about the child, the couple
could conceivably get a mentally or physically defective child. Prospective
foster parents should always deal with a legal adoption agency whose
primary goal is to bring together a couple and a child under the best
possible circumstances.
A happier and more fortunate outgrowth of the problem of scarcity of
adoptable children is the increasing number of foreign-born children who
are being adopted. This possibility should be considered by couples
desirous of adopting a child.

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