Adopting a child brings endless amounts of joy to the new family. However, the process of adoption can be a bit of a headache. Granted, many parents want a child, but to go through a long process could intimidate them.
For one, the time frame is a hassle. On average, parents have to wait at least 18-36 months from the time they fill out the application to the final signatures. During these months, the parents must send fees, send documents back and forth for verification, and go through many lengthy interviews.
A lot can happen in 36 months. The agency could lose or misplace the funds. The documents could be intercepted. And worst of all, your child could be handed off to someone else.
The lack of transparency and laborious process could be the deciding factor on who can adopt a child. But all that can change. Through modern technology, parents could hold their child within six months. By utilizing the blockchain, adoption agencies and future parents can take advantage of an easier and shorter adoption period. All required documents (birth/marriage certificates) can be easily sent through the public ledger while also proving its authenticity. The agencies can verify the documents within a day or two instead of waiting weeks or months through the mail.
The transparency could also be easily accessible for the child’s safety and well-being. The agencies could verify whether a parent is fit to have a child based on their criminal or violent past. As for their well-being, the agencies can monitor the homes or parents that are taking advantage of the situation for profit. This will prevent the agencies from allowing children to be adopted to families who will not take care of the child.
The blockchain could also allow the agencies to keep track of the child’s health and medical background, especially the biological parents’ medical history. For example, if the biological parents suffer from a mental illness or a genetic abnormality, the adoptive parents would want to understand possible contingencies in the child’s medical future.
If the child is older, they may have been sent from house to house. The agencies can monitor which houses and the amount of families the child has been to. Some future parents may want to know this information before adopting. Putting older children on the blockchain could prevent backlogs, and agencies may overlook certain children in the adoption process. The blockchain would signal that a child has not been considered for adoption in quite some time.
Adoption is definitely a unique experience. One of the benefits is the option of open adoption where the child and adoptive family can interact with the biological mother/parents. However, many choose to have closed adoptions.
Ethereum’s smart contract platform could ease the pain for many adopted children in finding their biological parents. Agencies will not release this information, so these adopted kids go to great lengths of hiring a private detective and spending endless amounts of money, and there is never a guarantee the parents will be found.
With the smart contract, information of the biological mother/parents would be available to the child at a certain age. The adoptive parents can decide when their child can unlock the smart contract at age 16 or 25, for example. The child would have access to their unknown past, if they truly want it. With a simple request from the contract, the adopted child (or biological parents) can choose to unlock the information or not. If they both decide to unlock the smart contract, a possible reunion could be set.
Trying to start a family is strenuous enough. Adding extra paperwork and time only makes it worst, but hopefully with blockchain technology, the entire process of starting a family will be smoother.