I've been wondering for awhile now... what problem does adoption solve?
I ask this because of the sheer number of people who seem to think adoption is necessary. If it's necessary, that would mean there is a problem that would go unaddressed if it weren't for adoption. So what's the problem?
I expect the initial answer to be that children without people to care for them would be stuck in orphanages (or perhaps a more sophisticated version of that response).
But adoption isn't necessary to make sure children are cared for and loved. I mean, are adults only willing to care for children that they get to call "theirs"? Certainly there are other arrangements whereby the children would be loved and cared for, without the need to create a fictional "parent-offspring" relationship.
While I think reducing the need for children who need to be cared for (through support for single mothers, education, etc.) is and important step, I am not so naive as to think there will never be children in need.
But adoption isn't necessary to solve that problem. And the legal fiction that adoption creates obscures the problems inherent in children being separated from their parents. It allows couples to adopt to pretend that they have a child of their own. It diminishes the importance of motherhood and the very real biological connection that that creates. And most importantly, it covers over the loss of the child.
Children are given a new identity, a new family. But how do they benefit from that arrangement? Would the family that took them in not love them if their identity wasn't replaced? Would the family not care about them, unless the legal fiction were established and defended so vehemently? Would they not love a child if they were only legal guardians?
Adoption is not the only problem, the only issue. But it adds to the loss already suffered by the child. It strips them of the last ties to their original family and replaces them, thus obscuring the tragedy they have already suffered.
Without an explanation for how that benefits the child, I don't see how adoption, as a legal practice, is defensible.