The act of adoption has been around since the dawn of humans. Even in nature, you’ll see orphan babies being taken in by others whose parents have died while they were still too young to fend for themselves.
AIM Adoptions is an adoption agency in Houston, Texas. We specialize in helping birth mothers place their babies with loving and caring families. As a non-profit, Christian-based adoption agency, we endeavor to partner with birth mothers in their difficult journey to handing over their baby. We understand that the path ahead will not be an easy one to walk, which is why we hope to make it a bit easier by finding the right adoptive family for you. Below, we’ll go over a bit of the history of adoption. Contact us today for more information!
HISTORY OF EARLY ADOPTION
Adoption is where someone legally agrees to act as the parent for a child, meaning they agree to provide everything that child needs to reach adulthood, including food, housing, and education. The first written records of adoption come to us from The Code of Hammurabi, which is one of the oldest written forms of law in existence. Written in the 18th century BC, this code spelled out the rights of adopters at length.
Ancient Rome used adoption extensively, with many of the Roman emperors coming to power by means of adoption. Here, adoptions led to a peaceful transition of power when there was no male heir. Roman citizens (the wealthy) under the Roman Law of Codex Justinianeus, would adopt an heir when one did not exist in a family. Families blessed with many sons often offered their extra sons as a way to strengthen ties with families. This also allowed for more wealth to stay in the family, instead of it being divided between many. As you can imagine, this only applied to sons, as women and girls had very few rights in the ancient world. Other civilizations in the ancient world would take orphans as slaves
This adoption between families lasted for about 1,000 years until the Middle Ages where a cultural shift emphasized the importance of blood relatives. This was, like most things in life, motivated by a desire to keep power and wealth in the family. Most major European countries discouraged adoption, such as France, Italy, and England.
Around the same time, the practice began to dedicate a child to the church. This male child would be given over to serve God, which would earn the family a higher reputation for having done so. You see this in the Bible as well with Hannah giving Samuel back to God for service. However, this division of wealth began to create an even bigger problem — orphans. Since medicine in the Middle Ages did not really exist, parents often died young, leaving their children to fend for themselves. And with no child welfare services, orphans often went hungry and lived on the streets. Monasteries became a haven for orphans, and the children for the most part, stayed there until they were of age to leave. This was exceedingly beneficial for the monasteries as they now had a form of labor, and they could spread their religion through this child-rearing.
However, the number of orphans began to grow, overwhelming even the monasteries. Thus, private organizations began. Most of the time, these private organizations just placed children in homes where they could learn a trade; however, the problem was that these children were often little more than slaves, forces to work to earn their keep. They were often forced to work for years until they could leave of their own volition. This tradition came with the English over to America.
At the time, children were not seen fully as having rights. After all, the infant mortality rate was exceedingly high, and many children did not live to see their fifth birthday. The death of mothers in childbirth from exhaustion, dehydration, infection, hemorrhages, and convulsions was almost as high. When mothers lost half of the children they birthed, many were aloof towards them, not wanting to get attached only to have their hearts broken. This also explains the looseness of the family system; it was too painful to get attached to your children.
HOW AIM ADOPTIONS SUPPORTS BIRTH MOTHERS AND HOPEFUL ADOPTIVE PARENTS
We are fortunate indeed to live in the 21st century where death in childbirth is rare, as is death of infants. Our ideas of the family unit has changed as more children survived into adulthood.
AIM Adoptions helps birth mothers who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy by supporting them throughout pregnancy and beyond. We can help with medical expenses, as well as with housing, transportation, and financial help. The other important service we offer is finding the perfect adoptive family for birth mothers. In today’s world, open adoption is the norm, and birth mothers now have a say in a lot of the adoption process, including picking out their adoptive family. Our job is to match birth mothers and adoptive families for the future health, happiness, and security of the baby.
AIM Adoptions is a non-profit, Christian-based adoption agency that has been serving the Houston area for over 30 years. We have an incredible heart for children, and when you partner with us, you can bet that you will be supported throughout your child’s life, whether you are a birth mother or an adoptive parent. We offer post-adopt services. Our relationship does not end with the birth; it’s only the beginning. Contact us today to get started!