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Both reasons and trends for adoption have changed over time

Nationally, there are an estimated 100,000 children in the foster care system. National Adoption Day was recently celebrated as a way to draw attention to these children's needs.

According to historical notes, children were previously viewed as a contributing member of the household once they were old enough to work and provide for the overall good of the family. As a result, it was not unusual for an adoption to take place to ensure that a single man's legacy carried on through an heir.

Fortunately, society's view of adoption has changed over time, and the focus in adoptions in Pennsylvania is the welfare and best interest of the child.  This increased concern regarding the welfare of adopted children has made the legal process more costly and onerous for some, particularly where a home study is required.

The circumstances in which adoptive parents are sought has also changed. Single mothers are no longer viewed with the same stigma they once were. Also, as a result of the tremendous costs associated with them and the increasing ability of countries to support needy children, foreign adoptions have decreased.

Despite the changes in need and motivation for adoption, there are still countless children awaiting the opportunity to be a part of a stable and loving family. Pennsylvania residents who are interested in adoption should consult an attorney who can provide guidance and expertise throughout the process.

Source: Time, "National Adoption Day: These Moments Changed Adoption History," Olivia B. Waxman, Nov. 17, 2017

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