geralt 3Providing a child a stable home is the ultimate gift. However, the adoption process for many countries around the world can be a very difficult one. Cultural practices, parents unwillingness to relinquish their rights, and the age of a child are some of the many reasons why the adoption process is challenging.

In Japan, due to the recent spike of reported cases of suspected child abuse, the Japanese government is encouraging “special adoption” to reduce the rate of child abuse. The goal of the special adoption system grants the adoptee the status of a “natural” child to his or her new family. However, the system is intended for children ages zero to six years.

Resolving the issue of child abuse, specifically babies, through this system is noteworthy. For bonding reasons, it is likely that a baby has a higher chance of being adopted, than an older child with new parents. However, for children who are older than six, and remain in placement, this system may not be conducive.

Determining the factors that result in lower adoption rates of older children, addressing legal barriers that hinder the adoption system, and bridging the gap between child welfare organizations and the government by involving the biological parents and children, are just a few solutions that could improve the adoption process.


Kyodo (2017, September 21) Reported child abuse in Japan exceeds 30,000 cases in the first half. The Japanese Times, Retrieved from

Naomi, M. (2018, March 27) Family Matters: Promoting Special Adoptions in Japan for the Good of Children. Nippon, Retrieved from

Photo Credit: Geralt, Pixabay, License: CC Public Domain

Aneeta Pearson, MSW, MS


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