More Latinos Adopting or Becoming Foster Parents


More Latinos are gradually coming forward to adopt and foster children, as they get increasingly informed of the process and feel welcomed by agencies whose mission is to meet this need. The U.S. Children’s Bureau Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) reports that the percent of public agency adoptions by parents of Hispanic ethnicity has increased every year between 2002 and 2010 to 15.5%.
A special report released as part of the AdoptUsKids: Answering the Call series reveals that “bicultural” social workers establish the bridge for Latino families in order to make the process less confusing and threatening. “To retain Latino families, agency staff must anticipate prospective parents’ needs. Address the organizational and culturally based barriers — in recruitment materials, orientation sessions, pre-service trainings, and throughout the approval process — and help to address Latino families’ concerns, and make the path to adoption welcoming, according to an article at NBCLatinoNews.
Adoption is increasing as more and more women delay childbearing, as they are more fully integrated into the workforce. At times, this interferes with their own biological clock for motherhood. According to the 2010 Pew Research Center report, mothers of newborns in all races and ethnic groups are now older than their counterparts 20 years ago. The report also found more women with a college degree are delaying the option to have children until later in life.
Latinos have a long history of stepping in when close relatives are not able to raise their child. The AdoptUsKids report described this arrangement as an “informal open adoption.” When agencies make the effort to understand the culture, they are able to help Latinos appreciate the legal option of becoming foster parents. As a result, agencies have found more Latinos are now seeking to make families in formal ways, through adoption. In addition, newcomers who have established themselves in the Unites States try to abide by the system as they understand the rules of the new culture, said Victoria Cerda, executive director of the Child Advocacy Resource Association (CARAS).