If you’re on “the inside” of the adoption community like I am, it can seem puzzling as to why more members of the general public aren’t aware of or don’t talk or think much about adoption. However, the reality is, families formed by adoption are still very much the minority in this country.
It’s hard to get an accurate number, but about two to six percent of children in the U.S. were adopted either domestically or internationally. Also, for some, there is still for the specter of a stigma surrounding adoption. Until recently, many families that adopted children did not want anyone to know their child was adopted. The concepts of open adoption, international adoption, and transracial adoption have only really flourished in the past few decades.
People who are from older generations might think that talking about adoption is impolite. Others, who are younger, might not know (or might not realize they know) someone who is an adoptee or an adoptive parent. However, I think conversations are changing and becoming more pervasive every day in the whole community.
Many TV shows and movies have recently approached the theme of adoption. From “Doc McStuffins” to “This Is Us,” among others. Now, many shows and movies deal with adoption realistically, acknowledging the many nuances of the adoption experience for both the adoptive parents and adoptees.
That, combined with the omnipresent and ever-increasing reach of social media, means that conversations about adoption are reaching the general public more than ever before. If you are a member of the adoption triad, taking the time to advocate for, and educate about, adoption is as easy as a Facebook status. While the numbers of people adopting may not dramatically increase, it seems that awareness about adoption may increase greatly in the coming years.
Julianna Mendelsohn lives in sunny South Florida where, odds are, it is hot enough right now that she’s sweating just a little, no matter what she’s doing. She is the brains, brawn, blood, sweat, and tears behind www.theadoptionmentor.com and is thrilled to be able to help others build their families through adoption. She is a former elementary school teacher, current MS in school counseling student, Sephora junkie, and the momma via domestic adoption to one lovely daughter.