Host: How has domestic adoption changed over the years?
Eliza Niemann: Well, I think it's important to understand that there have been significant changes in domestic adoption in the last 10 to 20 years. Some very key changes include the fact that birthparents are much more involved than they used to be. They can be involved in choosing the adoptive family for their child; they can meet the adoptive family. They can also potentially have contact long-term after the placement of the child with the adoptive family have. The three have contact with each other. Sometimes families are concerned about that idea when they haven t learned enough about it, but what we find is that a lot of these changes make for a stronger and healthier adoption process and that s something that we feel is important for families to realize that if birthparents are equally invested in the adoption process, there is a stronger likelihood that the adoption has a chance of going through and that it will be a healthier process for everyone involved. Additionally, something that adoptive families ask a lot about over the years has been how much medical and social history can I get on the birth family and the birthparents. Their parents, siblings, grandparents and things like that, which is something that if you look back in time, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, even ten years ago, many adopted children had no medical or social history of their own, or to provide to the doctors. So one of the other wonderful things in terms of the changes in adoption -- in domestic adoption is seeing how much information is usually able to be provided to the adoptive parent and to the child.