It's common knowledge that adoptions have declined steeply. This source of statistics is new to me. It shows adoptions peaked at 3,967 in 1971. By 2008 the number was 259. Another table shows adoptions falling to 100 in the 2011/12 financial year.
It's interesting that the first set of data frames the rise in adoptions as an aberration, and the decline as a return to normal (my words). But it ignores that pre-adoption many children were placed in orphan asylums. At December 31, 1928 (randomly chosen) there were 2,906 children in orphanages and a majority had living parents. Was that state of affairs 'normal'?
Societal values are constantly changing. It may be in the future the practice of adoption grows again as we begin to accept that some children are not better off with their birth parent.
The rapid adaptation of women to changing prospects
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