Adoption in contemporary American society serves to fulfill several purposes. For one, it provides the infants with parents in case of death of the biological parents or when parental rights of the biological parents have been terminated. Adoption for foster parents who are unable to conceive due to fertility difficulties also get to bring children into their families through adoption from an adoption agency. Adoption also provides for a legal relationship between a child and his or her foster parent. While all these are benefits of adoption from either the parent or the child抯 point of view, adoption occurs primarily to formalize the parent-child relationship regardless of the adult抯 desire to have or raise a child.
The number of adoptions is largely governed by the supply and the demand rule. This supply-demand ratio has contributed to the decrease in the number of children being placed under foster care. It is difficult to assess whether over the last 30 years there has been any change in the demand for adoption from individuals and couples. By using the analysis gathered as the proxy for demand, it can be seen that the overall percentage of adoption has declined slightly since the 70s. A survey conducted showed that only 14% of women who were surveyed had ever taken steps towards adoption from a foster home. Over 85% never took steps or considered an adoption. Even among those who took steps towards adopting, only 23% actually went ahead to adoption from a foster home while more than the remaining 76% did not adopt.
An important finding has also found that more women than men are adopting. This adoption from women is due, in part, to the living arrangements of the children after the divorce of their real biological parents. This is because children are more likely to live with their biological mothers. Upon remarrying, the stepfathers solidify their relationships and formalize them with their stepchildren. Adoption from this perspective takes on a whole new meaning for the foster parents and strengthens the bond between the two families. Women above 30 are also more likely to have taken steps towards adoption than younger women. By age 40 the desire to rear and care for kids starts declining.
Thus, the declining need towards adoption from both the men and women is influenced by a number of factors as mentioned. However, these statistics are usually taken as guide posts to determine what is necessary in the adoption field. Other factors considered, the reasons for the decline are many.