First, Know Adoption Has A Rough History
Legal adoption in the United States has been traced back to the 1850s, though informal adoption has existed forever. Early formal, legal adoption was seen as a means to serve children, and not as a service for adults wanting to parent. The idea of adoption as a service and not a human welfare project is relatively modern.

There are many instances in history of children being obtained for adoption unethically, both in the US and abroad. Children became a commodity when demand for adoptable children grew and adoption services became an industry. Underprivileged people and groups were taken advantage of to obtain children for more privileged families that were unable to conceive.

Adoption was once thought of as something that should be kept secret. Birth records were sealed or destroyed and children grew up often never knowing about their origins. Biological families weren’t respected and were often paid to keep the truth a secret. The hushed nature of adoption led to unhealthy feelings of shame for all parties. Accordingly, its history hasn't always been that fairy tale ending.