Should Adopted Children be Allowed to Seek their Biological Parents?
Child adoption is a controversial act which requires critical handling and addressing in order to tackle effectively various inquisitions which may arise. Child adoption is the practice where the rights of biological parents on their child are transferred permanent to an adopting parents usually referred to as foster parents. In various countries, adoption undergoes a thorough scrutiny to ensure that the adopting parents have sufficient qualities and reasons for adopting a child. Although it may resemble guardianship, an adoption is quite different since the biological parents do not intervene on child growth and care issues and the transfer itself is a permanent action. On the other hand, guardianship may be an agreement to support the challenged biological parent to provide for the child. Adoption can involve legal and or religion matters unlike guardianship (Russell 25).
In United States of America, it is estimated that approximately one hundred and twenty thousand cases of child adoption take place each year. In the past years, children with disabilities were rarely adopted. However, in current times things have changed hence all children whether disabled or not are being highly adopted. Adoption of a child can be initiated due to various situations or reasons. Some of them are; when the biological parents of the child are declared incapable of taking effective and required care for the child. For example, when the biological parents are financially handicapped to offer basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, health services and education, the adoption process can be initiated. Also when the biological parents are no longer living or when they are health wise challenged. This creates a room for child adoption. The age of the parent can also form the basis for child adoption from the biological parent to adopting parents.
Since adoption involves a transfer of parenting rights from biological parent to adopting ones usually takes place at a tender age of a child, the adopted child usually does not know whether they were adopted or not. This depends on whether the information about adoption is revealed to the adopted child by the adopting parents. Adoption issues are very sensitive and may initiate psychological torture to the child especially when the information about adoption is revealed at tender age. In most cases, such sensitive information is concealed from children until they are perceived to be grown up and independent to make conclusive and sound decisions. Some may obtain the desires to know why they were adopted and who their biological parents are.
The journey to pursue for their biological parents has brought controversial debates. Such debates involves whether they should be locate their parents or not? Parents who adopted the child may feel that it is not necessary to search for biological parents since they possess all the right concerning the child’s growth. Also the biological parents may get uneasy and have a sense of embarrassment when their identity gets known by such children or individuals. From such bases, parents who adopted have highly restrained such adopted individual to look for their biological parents.
Why they Should not Locate their Biological Parents
Those opposed to a move to look for biological parents argue that, the move will adversely affect the biological parents and the adopted individual. For example, a disabled child who got adopted because the biological parents were not willing to support or live with a child who they perceived to be a burden in their life, may embarrass and make the parents to feel uneasy about the cause which led them to initiate adoption. In such cases it may accrue negative repercussions to both the biological parents and the adopted person. This may create a stigmatization environment where the child feels not appreciated in the society.
The adopted individual may be having some hidden agendas and intentions against the biological parents for letting them be adopted. They may have intentions of harming them either physically or psychologically. For example; some new born babies’ life gets in danger through malicious actions of their biological parents. Cases have emerged where infants are thrown in pit latrines and others in dumping pits by their parents. When such sensitive information is obtained by the adopted child, they may get plans or mind for revenging. To avoid such scenarios, the adopting parent should not allow them to look for biological parents.
The adoption of a child is a legal reassignment of child’s right from the biological parents to the foster parents. Since this transfer is legally recognized, the biological parents has no links whatsoever with the adopted child. As a result, their identity and whereabouts information should be highly concealed and kept a secret by the foster parents. Being a biological parent does not mean that one is totally linked to welfare and care of the child. The adoption process resembles marriage where after vows are taken by the bride and bridegroom, those opposed are requested to remain silent until their death.
The foster parents may feel cheated or short changed when the adopted child reunites with their biological parents. For instance, the foster parent may have invested heavily to care for the child’s welfare. The care could have involved sacrifice on finance, social matters and even time devotion all for the benefit of the child who later shift to other families. This can form a discouragement base for future adoption arrangements since some biological parents can have secrete agenda of benefiting from foster parents especially on financial matters. The foster parents have all the right of being parents of the adopted child or individual no matter the age. This is because; adoption involves a legal transfer of rights from biological parents to foster parents. The transfer itself is not a contract to expire when a child becomes a grown up but it extends for the entire life of the adopted child.
Why they Should Locate Biological Parents
On the other side, knowing one’s biological parents can be essential to both the child and the biological parents. It creates cohesion and a kind of reunion among the involved parties who are adopting parents, biological parents and the child itself. Though there could be some sensitive reasons which led to adoption process, the adopted child knows and understands that it was the best option which was arrived as per that moment for the betterment of the child. Adoption information is usually revealed to grownups who have reached the age of majority in order to create an environment of understanding and reconciliation among the involved parties.
Adopted children have their right like any other child who is not adopted. There should be a free flow of information and personal right to engage in any activity as long as one can make sound and dependable judgment. For instance, when an adopted child attains the age of majority or is a grown up, he or she can make his or her own judgment. They can no longer be tethered in one place by their foster parents through denial of crucial information necessary for biological parents search. Though foster parents have rights to be their parents, rights and freedom of adopted individuals should not be limited.
Every family has its own weaknesses and strengths within its boundaries. For example; the biological parents could not cater for the child welfare due to some reasons such as financial instability or mental status. However, their weakness does not mean that they are not capable of providing other essential elements for child’s growth. For instance, biological parents may be financial stressed to cater for the child. This may initiate the adoption process of the child to the foster parents. However, the biological parents may be rich in parental advices and encouragements which are essential for an individual growth. On the side of foster parents, they may have a stable financial background to provide basic and secondary needs to the child. However, they may be lacking some parenting talents or tips on social and cultural welfare to equip the child effectively. As a result, searching for biological parents can be essential and a beneficial move to do since the child get dual benefits (Howe 13).
Even though the foster parents may be wholly providing for the child, there cannot be the natural cohesion bonding which exists between a child and a biological parent. This is due to natural instincts which occur naturally hence the child feels that something is missing in his or her life. The child feels as if living in an alien world where he or she does not belong to. Various studies done have shown that adopted people get settled when they get information that their parents no longer exist or are dead than when they know they exist but they get no contacts at all.
There are cases where adopted children feel mistreated and not given equal rights in their lives. If adoption was held up legally, it should not offer a room for psychological torture to the adopted individuals. They should be informed about the whereabouts of their biological parents and why they can or cannot reunite with such parents. This is because, it is only through clear stipulation of procedure and reasons involved during the adoption process will relieve the affected individual from deep thoughts. The process and procedure for locating biological parents can be done in a legal and systematic procedure. This process can involve professional such as psychiatrist to effectively handle the issues likely to emerge.
Search for biological parent may intensify where there is a skin color difference between the foster parents and the adopted child. This is because, no matter whether information about adoption is concealed or not, the child definitely knows that he or she does not belong to that family. This may influence such individuals to try to locate their family lineage through location of biological parents. In such cases, foster parents can be psychologically traumatizing the child if they conceal such information from that child.
Various surveys and studies done in United States of America have shown that majority individuals who are deprived this crucial information get engaged in drug abuse like alcoholism and other antisocial behaviors. Majority have also engaged in criminal activities such as robbery and violence activities. The grassroots of involving in such antisocial activities is desperation and extreme anxiety to know their biological parents, a process which gets blocked by their foster parents (Pati 57).
Adoption of a child is a legal arrangement between the foster parents and the biological parents where the rights to care for the child are transferred to the foster parent. However, even though the rights to care for the child are transferred to the foster parents, it should not form the basis for restricting the child or an individual to crucial information which can help the child to trace his or her origin. The information should be made available to an adopted individual when perceived to be a grown up because locating one’s parents requires psychologically prepared individuals who can make positive decision. This will allow room for reconciliation and creation of cohesive bond among the three parties namely; the foster parent, the biological parents and the adopted individual.
Children who locate their biological parents are less psychologically tortured by the status or reasons which led to their adoption than children who know they are adopted but cannot locate their biological parents. The issue of adoption is like a puzzle which an individual tries to crack to obtain the essential information. This shows that the benefits for locating biological parents are more compared to when concealed.