Adoption agencies are fond of saying “there’s no such thing as unwanted kids.” (We’ve probably said it, too, somewhere along the way.) The sad truth, though, is that it’s not really true.
The world is full of unwanted kids. (They’re just not healthy newborns anymore.)
We couldn’t help but be reminded of that this week, when somebody called requesting our services.
She was just thirteen.
Looking for Help
She had already found Abrazo’s website, visited our Available Parents Gallery and picked out a family. (She chose a childless couple seeking to adopt a baby.) We asked her when she was due, and that was when the conversation took an unexpected turn.
“I’m not pregnant,” she said. “I need to be adopted.”
We gently reminded her that her own parents are legally responsible for caring for her. “Well, I never knew my dad, and my mom doesn’t want me.”
We asked her what makes her think her mother does not want her?
“Because she told me she doesn’t want me. She said to go to the police and tell them to find me someone who can adopt me. I don’t trust police, though, so I found your agency online instead.”
It was nothing short of heartbreaking, yet it wasn’t the first call like this that we’ve gotten. We offered to talk to her mom for her. We did our best to counsel her and to guide her to the help she needs in her area.
Yet we did so knowing that the majority of children in her circumstances end up either in state foster care until they age out, or on the streets. Why? Because there are so few family intervention programs or adoption options for unwanted kids who are no longer babies.
Be Some Kid’s Answered Prayer
There is a glut of Americans seeking to adopt healthy infants of any race. There is a huge shortage of applicants for children beyond the toddler years, healthy or otherwise.
Abrazo does provide placement services for parents needing to make adoption plans for their toddlers, sibling groups and school-age children. We’ve done so ever since our agency opened in 1994. We’ve placed many children with special needs, as well as sibling groups of three, and school-aged children as old as seven.
Yet the sad truth is that few adoption agencies make a point of seeking homes for such “unwanted children” as Abrazo does.
This is because “consumer demand drives the market.” And when adoption is treated as a business rather than a social service, there’s little demand for older kids, special needs children and large sibling groups. These are America’s “unwanted children” (less in demand, not any less worthy.) They are the ones who languish in state care, free for adoption yet considered “hard to place.”
Yet the costs of their adoptions are subsidized by the State. making them nearly cost-free. These placements often qualify for recurrent subsidies after adoption. And these children often are able to go to state universities free of charge, as well. (Note: these advantages are only available in public/state adoptions, not private agency placements.)
If you have children you do not want or cannot care for and you want to keep them out of the system, call Abrazo (1-800-454-5683) anytime. If you’re seeking to adopt the sort of kids traditionally considered “unwanted kids,” please visit AdoptUSKids and/or Heart Gallery of America.
Because as much as Abrazo would love to help everyone, our greater goal is to ensure there truly are no unwanted kids anywhere, and helping those already born is surely the best place to start.