Adoption Reform


Make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.
"an opportunity to reform and restructure an antiquated adoption model"

Why is adoption reform needed?

Adoption reform is needed for several reasons. One of the main reasons is to ensure that the best interests of the child are always the top priority in the adoption process. This means that the child's safety, well-being, and long-term needs should be carefully considered and addressed throughout the adoption process.


Another reason for adoption reform is to address issues of transparency and accountability in the adoption process. This includes ensuring that all parties involved in the adoption process have access to accurate information and are able to make informed decisions about the adoption.


Overall, adoption reform is needed to ensure that the adoption process is fair, transparent, and focused on the best interests of the child.

What would adoption reform look like?

Adoption reform can take many different forms, depending on the specific issues that need to be addressed. Here are some examples of what adoption reform might look like:


  • Increased transparency and accountability: Adoption reform could involve measures to increase transparency and accountability in the adoption process. This might include requiring adoption agencies to provide more information to prospective adoptive parents and birth parents, and ensuring that all parties involved in the adoption process have access to accurate information.


  • Focus on the best interests of the child: Adoption reform could also involve a greater focus on the best interests of the child. This might include requiring adoption agencies to prioritize the child's safety, well-being, and long-term needs throughout the adoption process.


  • Support for birth parents: Adoption reform could also involve providing more support for birth parents who are considering adoption. This might include providing counseling and other resources to help birth parents make informed decisions about adoption, and ensuring that they have access to.

How do we achieve adoption reform?

Achieving adoption reform can be a complex and challenging process, but there are several steps that can be taken to move towards this goal. Here are some possible strategies for achieving adoption reform:


  • Listening to the voices of adoptees, and former foster youth: Adoptees and former foster youth have lived experiences you can't get anywhere else but by listening to them speak about their own experiences being adopted, and going through the system. Their lived experiences hold vital information about what is wrong within the system seeing that they've lived it firsthand. 


  • Raise awareness: One of the first steps in achieving adoption reform is to raise awareness about the issues that need to be addressed. This might involve educating the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders about the challenges facing the adoption system and the need for reform.


  • Advocate for change: Advocacy can be a powerful tool for achieving adoption reform. This might involve working with advocacy groups, policymakers, and other stakeholders to push for changes in laws, policies, and practices related to adoption.


  • Engage with stakeholders: Engaging with stakeholders, including birth parents, adoptive parents, adoption agencies, and other organizations involved in the adoption process, can help to identify areas where reform is needed and develop solutions that work for all parties involved.


  • Collaborate with experts: Collaboration with experts in fields such as child welfare, social work, and law can help to identify best practices and develop effective solutions for adoption reform.


  • Implement reforms: Once reforms have been identified and developed, it is important to implement them effectively. This might involve working with policymakers. 

What is Child-Centered Care?

Trauma-informed care (TIC) is defined by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network as medical care in which all parties involved assess, recognize and respond to the effects of traumatic stress on children, caregivers and healthcare providers. In the clinical setting, TIC includes the prevention, identification and assessment of trauma, response to trauma and recovery from trauma as a focus of all services.


The resources below, including resources from the AAP Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment, and Resilience (PATTeR) project, provide information and guidance on implementing TIC in pediatric settings.

Trauma-Informed Care

What does Child-Centered Care Look Like?

Alternatives to Adoption

Adoptees are often asked if we'd rather kids stay in foster care forever rather than them find homes to care for them. This is such an unintelligent question that lacks all critical thinking.

So what are the alternatives to adoption, and why are they important?



Kinship care is commonly defined as "the full-time care, nurturing, and protection of a child by relatives, members of their Tribe or clan, godparents, stepparents, or other adults who have a family relationship to a child." The relationship should be respected on the basis of the family's cultural values and emotional ties. There are many benefits to placing children with relatives or other kinship caregivers, such as increased stability and safety as well as the ability to maintain family connections and cultural traditions.

This is ultimately the most ideal circumstance for placement of a child if their biological parents are unable or unwilling to provide care. This keeps children in their biological family system in some way, and offers genetic mirrors, medical history, and family connections that are vital to the well-being of a child. 

Fictive kinship care refers to placing children within their community, clan, or tribe in some way. This helps maintain relationships with family members, religion, culture, heritage, and history. Refer to legal permanent guardianship for more information.

Legal guardianship is a judicially created relationship between a child and responsible adult in which
the guardian assumes many of the rights and responsibilities that customarily would reside with the child’s parents. Traditionally, a guardian has been a person, usually a relative or close family friend,
who has been named by the parent in his or her will to assume the care of the child after the parent’s death or permanent disability. In addition to parental arrangements for guardianship, a court may appoint a guardian for a minor if the parent is unable or unwilling to provide appropriate care for his or her child or parental rights have been terminated.

A court also may appoint a relative or other kin as a permanent guardian when that person has been caring for the child as a foster parent. Kinship guardianship can be a permanency option for
a child in the legal custody of a department of
social services when reunification with the child’s parents or permanency through adoption is not feasible. Guardianship creates a legal relationship between a child and caregiver that is intended to
be permanent and self-sustaining and can provide a permanent family for the child without the necessity of terminating parental rights.

Legal Guardianship Information 


Why are these Alternatives Better?

The way adoption in the United States is done it's strips a child in crisis of their basic birthright.  This birthright includes: the right to preserve the child's identity, nationality, name, and family relations.  Adoption in the United States removes all of that for the child.  In adoption the child's birth certificate is then sealed away from them for up to 99 years in most states. Only 14 states currently have laws in place allowing adoptee's to have access to view their original birth certificate. Keep in mind the original birth certificates are deemed null and void. Often times even our Social Security number is replaced. A new birth certificate is then issued out removing the child's birth parents and replacing them with their adopted parents. A birth record should never be changed for any child. Adoptive parents should not be put on a birth certificate as a record of live birth, that they did not take part in. 


Furthermore, adoption in the United States also severs all ties to the child's biological family including siblings, as well as all medical history. Adoptees have died because they do not have a proper access to their family medical history. For example, if an adopted child has a genetic condition and testing needs to be done insurance companies can and do deny that testing, because you cannot prove legally this child has any biological family with the same genetic condition.


Children do not need to be legally adopted and stripped of their birthright for a family, whether biological or stranger to care for them. Legal permanent guardianship offers all the same rights to enroll a child in school, your medical insurance, and for them to be included in your family without stripping them of their biological family ties. Last names can be changed legally if needed without severing birthrights. 


Children cannot legally give informed consent to being put into a legally binding contract for life-to which there is no form of annulment for the child. Children in crisis will always need a safe place to land, but that does not mean that their rights need to be forever taken from them to get that safe place. Children should be allowed to grow and develop within whatever family is currently capable of caring for them and be able to make an adoption decision when they are of legal consenting age to agree to be adopted and have a full understanding that they are losing their biological ties.


Adoption in the United States also breaks 15/30 rights of a child set-forth by the UN.
For more information about birthrights via the United Nations