Adoption is a notoriously slow, expensive and frustrating process. Thousands of people who would like to add a child to their family wind up stymied in red tape or an interminable wait for a child who meets their family’s adoptive criteria.
Certain populations will face far more frustrations and delays when attempting to adopt than the average American household would. Jewish couples who want to expand their family, for example, will likely have a much harder time with this process than their Christian neighbors would in adding an adoptive member to their family.
What makes the adoption process so difficult for Jewish couples?
There are likely very few Jewish children in foster care
Currently, there are roughly 424,000 children in foster care across the United States. Of those children, 14,500 are here in Arizona. There is no readily available information about how many of those children are Jewish, but the number is likely relatively small.
Currently, about 2.4% of all adults in the country are Jewish. That figure includes both those with belong to the Jewish religion and those who are Jewish but do not observe a religion. If that rate applies to foster children as well, then there might be just 348 Jewish children in foster care in Arizona. Compared with the number of couples who want to adopt, that’s a small figure.
While the family may be open to adopting children of other backgrounds or faiths, many agencies have rules regarding both cross-cultural adoption and different religions, which may drastically limit the pool of children that could potentially come home with your family.
There are fewer supports for would-be Jewish adoptive parents
There are Christian agencies that aim to help certain people adopt, but their services may not benefit a Jewish family. When there are fewer agencies to work with, it can be even more difficult than usual for a couple to make sense of the complex civilizations process.
A couple may need to try to connect directly with a birth mother, which can also be difficult. Lack of knowledge about Jewish culture may require more conversations between the prospective adoptive parents and the birth mother seeking to place their unborn child in the right home.
Understanding the complications that may affect your family’s upcoming adoption can help you set reasonable expectations and connect with the support you need for success.