So is adoption really necessary ?
One could conclude that an orphan should ideally be adopted by the guardians assigned before the parent‘s demise. For foster kids, who would like to be adopted, after parental rights were terminated. Guardianship or temporary fostering could suffice to serve the needs of children in most cases.
It may be that the only time adoption is “necessary” (and one could always argue that word) would be for an older child or teen, whose parents have already signed termination of parental rights. But only if the child has asked for that without prompting. And the child’s name should never be changed unless the child wants their name changed to feel more in harmony with the rest of the family. And go slowly on that one because it could be only a temporary phase that won’t be as lasting as changing the child’s name. The child does need to be empowered in a situation in which they don’t have a lot of control otherwise.
There are very sad and difficult cases. For example, cases of extreme abuse and neglect where the mother refuses all offers of assistance. Where there is no other family able or willing to help. There could be no way that this child could ever be safe with their original family. Counseling will be required for every person involved. Some contact with the original family should be maintained if at all possible, if nothing more than knowing how to reach them. In the best cases, monitoring for a changed status. There is always the possibility of change because change is a constant.
Regarding guardianship, some judges and courts may have concerns that the guardianship could too easily be terminated and the child would lose a sense of permanency. However, a child’s sense of attachment was destroyed the minute their family of origin was severed from them.
Still the question remains – to fully love, protect and be a family is adoption necessary ? Full custody as an alternative to adoption can accomplish the same legal requirements. The system has been an enabler for white saviorism and has made adoption like a free for all. It’s unethical that so often the natural family is not allowed to give any input and the lack of effort put into connecting these kids to their kin just is mind boggling.
The best adoptive families, upon becoming more enlightened about the impacts of adoption, will make attempts to mitigate the inevitable difficulties for the child (some of these can include not changing the child’s name, learning about the child’s original mother and if possible opening up contact with her and with any other related siblings). Though most adoptive parents genuinely feel they are doing the right thing . . . when we know better, we do better.