As an adopted person who was separated from my twin brother at one year of age, I especially have a strong commitment to this trend. Although, I could not have landed in a better household with very loving parents the entire process was certainly less structured than today’s process.
Essentially, my biological father was left with two toddlers to care for, as well as infant twins, me and my brother, by himself. My biological mother suffered from serious post partem depression and had to be hospitalized for an indefinite period. As a postal worker with little other family around, he was desperate to get help to care for us. A neighbor across the street agreed to take us in while he figured things out. Ultimately the neighbor decided to keep my brother and adopt him, but did not have the resources to keep us both.
It Was Divine Grace
My biological father had heard through word of mouth that my soon to be new parents had previously adopted a baby 4 years earlier and she was seemingly well cared for. He went to visit and see their home and the next day dropped me off. No background check, no interviewing neighbors, co-workers, nothing! They eventually adopted me, but I know it was divine grace that placed me in that home because I ended up with a very loving family.
A Push Towards Kinship Care
Today, there are many, many safety checks before couples can qualify as adoptive parents and that is real progress. And now the trend is toward trying to place children in extended relative’s homes and that is proving to be a very positive trend.
Our company is proud to be a partner with a very successful adoption agency that is putting new functionality into our case management software system. This new functionality facilitates social workers in finding and evaluating relatives that can accept these vulnerable children.
One of the new items is the creation of an electronic "Genogram" builder that allows a social worker to get a quick understanding of an extended family in one glance, even with as many as 50 or 60 people in it. This makes kinship finding much less complicated for the social worker lightening their load a bit.