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Putting a Baby Up for Adoption: A Brief History 

By Chloe Agas

You may be a birth mother considering adoption in Texas and curious about how it has developed over the years. You may have questions such as: 

  • What is the adoption process
  • How has it developed over the years?
  • What is its significance in society today?

The adoption process is when a child’s birth parents make the decision to place them for adoption. This ultimately leads up to their child legally becoming a member of the adoptive family. Also, it demonstrates the maintenance of communication between the adoptive family, the child, and the birth parents. The way it occurs in the present is drastically different than how the process occurred 20 years ago, for example. It has also experienced various kinds of changes, from societal views to diversity and inclusion. At Adoption Choices of Texas, we want to make sure you are informed about the past and present of adoption. Here we’ll compare the history of the process back then vs now and the impact of modern development.

What was the Adoption Process Like Back Then vs Today?

Before the 20th century, the adoption process was completely different but somewhat similar in comparison to today. Back then, adoption was very closed and secretive. Birth mothers’ also did not have access to resources to seek help. Societal views also significantly affected how adoption was viewed. But with modernization, there have been significant changes throughout the years. For example,  an increase in the birth mother’s involvement, transparency, and communication between the birth mother and adoptive families, respectively. At Adoption Choices of Texas, we want to provide some examples that demonstrate these various changes. 

The View of Adoption: Then vs Now.

Then: Adoption was seen as a more secretive process as opposed to the more transparent process it is now. Although the decision was made for the child, there was not much involvement from the birth mother herself. For example, adoption placements before the 20th century were seen as an opportunity for profit rather than out of emotion.

  • Today: The birth mother now plays a bigger role in making the decisions before, during, and after. This includes being able to choose from different adoptive families and pick out the best fit for the baby. Today, the birth mother and adoptive family can establish a way of communication throughout the process itself. Both ends are able to play a role in establishing this connection based on their preferences. 

Decisions and Preferences in Adoption: Then vs Now.

Then: Back then, adoption agencies didn’t really exist at the time. Instead, the birth parents would either send their child to a foster family or an orphanage during times of struggle in the 19th century. At the time, there weren’t laws that would be able to protect adopted children as well. This made adults more of a priority based on their preferences rather than prioritizing the child’s wellbeing and the environment they will be surrounded with. 

  • Today: At Adoption Choices of Texas for example, our adoption agencies contribute services from financial aid to counseling for birth mothers. We continuously advocate for both the birth mother’s and child’s best interests at heart. This includes creating a personal adoption plan for any unique circumstance, the foundation being solely based on the birth mother’s best wishes at heart for the better interest of their baby.

The Stigma Surrounding Adoption: Then vs Now.

Then: The negative stigmas surrounding adoption were caused by major societal views such as marriage. This in turn, made adoption a last resort for birth mothers. Another reason a child could’ve been placed for adoption is to give their children better opportunities. This instilled the idea that if you place your child up for adoption, you are “giving up.”

  • Today: The birth mother also can make the decision to place her baby up for adoption rather than by force by societal views, although the negative stigma surrounding adoption unfortunately still remains. At our adoption agencies, we advocate and provide support for the birth mother throughout the process. We also reassure them that the decision to place their baby up for adoption is selfless and filled with strength. Everyone has their unique circumstances, and the decision to place a baby for adoption is a loving decision based on the best interests of both the birth mother and the child. 

How has Modernization Impacted Adoption? 

From changes in law and technological development, modernization has beneficially impacted adoption for years to come. 

  1. 1. Support: Today, there are more resources to provide and access for birth mothers. From financial aid with personal circumstances to counseling, these are made available to birth mothers who need assistance. Birth mothers are advocated and supported for their personal decisions, such as choosing the right adoptive family for the baby.
  2. Technology: With the advancements in technology, birth parents and adoptive parents are now able to communicate better. This also allows for profile matching to choose the adoptive family that fits best for their child. It enables, for example, social media platforms to spread awareness about education, resources, and information about local adoption centers.
  3. Diversity: Adoption is more transparent and open today, which means that anyone, regardless of race, sex, and gender, is able to place a baby for adoption. Everyone is able to become a part of adoption and empowered in communication and decision-making.
  4. Decision Making: Birth mothers are now able to make more personal decisions. For example, with a personalized adoption plan, a birth mother is able to lay out the process before, during, and after the child gets placed into an adoptive family. The birth parent is able to decide how to give birth at the hospital to interact with the adoptive family. 

Are you considering giving a child up for adoption in Texas and need assistance? 

If you are a woman who is considering adoption/adopción de bebes in Texas, our adoption agencies at Adoption Choices of Texas are prepared to provide for you statewide. From adoption in Houston to Austin Adoption, we are prepared to provide resources and assist you. The decision to place your baby for adoption is not an easy one, and our professionals will do our best to support you and your needs during this time. We want to reassure you as a birth mother that giving up your baby for adoption is a loving and selfless decision.

You are demonstrating strength and doing the best for both you and your child. We will guide you through how the process works and how to personalize your unique adoption plan. You are not alone during this time. From our counseling services to financial assistance, our mission is to always advocate for our client’s well-being. 

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