When thinking about an orphanage you might think of an old movie where hundreds of kids live in a big house and all share one giant bedroom filled wall to wall with beds. Even a recent show on Netflix called the Queen’s Gambit showed the main character living in an orphanage.
So, Do Orphanages Still Exist Today?
Many people still wonder about the existence of orphanages today and frequently ask if they still exit. Yes, they do still exist in the world in several countries that still operate on an older system. Do they still exist in the United States? No, orphanages are no longer operating in the US as they were replaced by the foster care system that we know today.
The End of Orphanages in the United States
Since the late 1800s the United States had less than 100 orphanages operating in various states. In the 1940s they started to close and by the 1960s were completely replaced by the government founded program called foster care. The foster care system provided better regulations to help protect children and potentially increase the likelihood of finding them a permanent home. The newly funded system reduced expenses of facilities used by orphanages as children waiting for adoption would now be living at the homes of foster parents.
How Domestic Adoption Agencies Helped End Orphanages
As more adoption agencies opened, the US saw a decline in the number of children in orphanages over time. There was a rapid increase in waiting adoptive parents who were eager to adopt a newborn baby from an adoption agency. Domestic adoption agencies had the ability to connect pregnant women with an adoptive family, which meant there was one less child going to social services. It reduced the need to find homes for children in the United States and ultimately brought a very positive response to the idea of choosing adoption if you had an unwanted baby.
Why Foster Homes are Better than Orphanages
Since foster care became a Government-funded program it was quickly able to provide better care and a sense of family environment than what was seen in traditional orphanages. Law makers began to take an interest in adoption policy and made an effort to create a positive adoption journey for every child that entered into the system. There is absolutely no chance in our lifetime that we will ever seen an American Orphanage again and hopefully soon enough we can say the same for the rest of the countries in the world.
How Does Adoption Work Today?
There are three types of adoption that exist today in the United States:
1. Newborn/Infant Adoption
Infant adoption is when a pregnant woman decides to give her baby to an adoptive family by working with an adoption agency, adoption facilitator, and/or adoption attorney. Generally she will choose the family from a list of profiles and has the ability to stay in contact with the family/child with pictures and letters with an open adoption.
2. Family/Relative Adoption
Family adoption situations are very common, but possibly not as well-known as infant adoption. Relatives or stepparents adopt children every year in the United States.
3. Foster Care Adoption
There are thousands of foster families helping children today. They have graciously opened their homes in an effort to help the Government provide hope and homes for children in the United States. Not an easy task by any means yet every year there are new families willing to provide care for unwanted children.
Are You Considering Adoption?
Are you considering adoption for your baby and hoping to avoid the foster care system? We encourage you to contact the local adoption agencies in your area and discuss how they can help you with your adoption journey and pregnancy needs.