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barriers_to_black_children_in_adoption [2015/09/09 12:52]
marri [1.Neglect of Young Black Children]
barriers_to_black_children_in_adoption [2015/11/06 11:59] (current)
marri2
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 ==========Barriers to Black Children in Adoption========== ==========Barriers to Black Children in Adoption==========
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-//Synthesis Paper//: [[http://​www.heritage.org/​research/​reports/​1996/​05/​bg1080nbsp-promoting-adoption-reform|Promoting Adoption Reform: Congress Can Give Children Another Chance]] 
  
 =====1. Neglect of Young Black Children===== =====1. Neglect of Young Black Children=====
  
-Roughly 15 percent of adoptions from the domestic system are interracial adoptions.((Hollee Mcginnis, Susan Livingston ​Smith, ​S.D. Ryan, and J.A. Howard, ​Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, ​New York (2009) ​available ​at [[http://​adoptioninstitute.org/​old/​publications/​2009_11_BeyondCultureCamp.pdf]]. Accessed September 1, 2015. \\ Christine Bachrach, Patricia F. Adams, Soledad Sambrano, and Kathryn A. London, "​Adoptions in the 1980'​s,"​ //Advanced Data from Vital and Health Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics//​, No. 181 (January 5, 1990).)) There are more black children waiting in foster care than there are prescreened black families ready to adopt them. With the need for permanent adoptive homes growing more acute and the exit rate from foster care slowing continually,​ the likelihood of multiple placements for black children increases.(("​Actual numbers and percentages of substitute care exits among minority children did rise significantly during the 1980s, but any gains in the numbers of exits among black and Hispanic children were totally nullified by continued increases in the total numbers of these minority children in the substitute care population during the same period.... The fact that the exit numbers of minority children are smaller than those of white children will result in additional increases in the proportion of minority children in care. If current trends continue, minority children will become the clear majority in the nation'​s substitute care population in the next few years. There already are more minority children than white children in the substitute care systems of several large urban states today. Social policy implications of minority children becoming the numerical majority in the U.S. substitute care population are profound and complex and should be seriously examined." ​From Toshio Tatara, "A Comparison of Child Substitute Care Exit Rates Among Three Different Racial/​Ethnic Groups in 12 States, FY 84 To FY 90," //VCIS Research Notes// ​No. 10, American Public Welfare Association,​ Washington, D.C., June 1994.)) ​Indeed, some 24 percent of the children in foster care today have been in three or four different homes.((Data supplied by the David Thomas Foundation for Adoption, P.O. Box 7164, Dublin, Ohio 43017.)) According to Ira Schwartz of the University of Michigan, 53 percent of all children in Michigan who entered the foster care system as newborns are still in foster care at age four.((Ira Schwartz, ​Robert ​M. Ortega, and Gideon ​Fishman, "​Michigan Infants in the Child Welfare System," ​report from the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Youth Policy; data from Department of Social Services CSMIS Data Event History File 12 89.)) In 2012, about 58 percent of white children awaiting adoption received a home, whereas only 46 percent of black children did.((Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza “America’s Unseen Export: Children, Most of Them Black”, June 24, 2014. \\  +Roughly 15 percent of adoptions from the [[the_need_for_adoption|domestic system]] are interracial adoptions.((Hollee Mcginnis, Susan L. Smith, ​Scott D. Ryan, and Jeanne ​A. Howard, ​//Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption//New York: Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, (2009). Accessed September 1, 2015. Available ​at [[http://​adoptioninstitute.org/​old/​publications/​2009_11_BeyondCultureCamp.pdf]]. \\ Christine Bachrach, Patricia F. Adams, Soledad Sambrano, and Kathryn A. London, "​Adoptions in the 1980'​s,"​ //Advanced Data from Vital and Health Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics// ​no. 181 (1990).)) There are more black children waiting in foster care than there are prescreened black families ready to adopt them. With the need for permanent adoptive homes growing more acute and the exit rate from foster care slowing continually,​ the likelihood of multiple placements for black children increases.(("​Actual numbers and percentages of substitute care exits among minority children did rise significantly during the 1980s, but any gains in the numbers of exits among black and Hispanic children were totally nullified by continued increases in the total numbers of these minority children in the substitute care population during the same period.... The fact that the exit numbers of minority children are smaller than those of white children will result in additional increases in the proportion of minority children in care. If current trends continue, minority children will become the clear majority in the nation'​s substitute care population in the next few years. There already are more minority children than white children in the substitute care systems of several large urban states today. Social policy implications of minority children becoming the numerical majority in the U.S. substitute care population are profound and complex and should be seriously examined."​ Toshio Tatara, "A Comparison of Child Substitute Care Exit Rates Among Three Different Racial/​Ethnic Groups in 12 States, FY 84 To FY 90," //VCIS Research Notes// ​no. 10 (1994).)) Some 24 percent of the children in foster care today have been in three or four different homes.((Data supplied by the David Thomas Foundation for Adoption, P.O. Box 7164, Dublin, Ohio 43017.)) According to Ira Schwartz of the University of Michigan, 53 percent of all children in Michigan who entered the foster care system as newborns are still in foster care at age four.((I. Schwartz, ​R.M. Ortega, and G. Fishman, "​Michigan Infants in the Child Welfare System," ​Michigan: ​University of Michigan Center for the Study of Youth Policy; data from Department of Social Services CSMIS Data Event History File 12 89.)) In 2012, about 58 percent of white children awaiting adoption received a home, whereas only 46 percent of black children did.((Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza “America’s Unseen Export: Children, Most of Them Black”, ​//Pacific Standard// ​June 24, 2014, [[http://​www.psmag.com/​politics-and-law/​outgoing-adoption-americas-unseen-export-children-black-84084]]. \\  
-Richard P. Barth, Mark Courtney, and Barbara Needel, "The Odds of Adoption vs. Remaining in Long-Term Foster Care"; paper presented at the Second Annual Child Welfare Conference, Washington, D.C., March 17, 1994. \\ S. Kossoudji, "Race and Adoption in Michigan,"​ in D. Mont and R. Avery, eds., //Public Agenda Adoption Policy// (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994), and D. Mont, "Race and Gender Differences in the Adoption of Special Needs Children,"​ unpublished manuscript ​(Ithaca, N.Y.: Department of Consumer Economics and Housing, Cornell University, April 1993), both quoted in Barth et al., "The Odds of Adoption vs. Remaining in Long-Term Foster Care."​))+Richard P. Barth, Mark Courtney, and Barbara Needel, "The Odds of Adoption vs. Remaining in Long-Term Foster Care"; paper presented at the Second Annual Child Welfare Conference, Washington, D.C., March 17, 1994. \\ S. Kossoudji, "Race and Adoption in Michigan,"​ in D. Mont and R. Avery, eds., //Public Agenda Adoption Policy// (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994)D. Mont, "Race and Gender Differences in the Adoption of Special Needs Children," ​(unpublished manuscriptIthaca, N.Y.: Department of Consumer Economics and Housing, Cornell University, April 1993), both quoted in Barth et al., "The Odds of Adoption vs. Remaining in Long-Term Foster Care."​))
  
 The length of stay in foster care is very important. The longer the newborn stays in foster care, the more at risk he is of approaching the "​difficult to adopt" age and the greater the problems associated with long-term foster care become. If half the children who arrive in foster care at birth are still in it at age four, the system is not serving their needs. The length of stay in foster care is very important. The longer the newborn stays in foster care, the more at risk he is of approaching the "​difficult to adopt" age and the greater the problems associated with long-term foster care become. If half the children who arrive in foster care at birth are still in it at age four, the system is not serving their needs.
  
-This statistic highlights the need for termination units -- specialized units of social workers who work with the courts to determine whether the parental rights of an abusing or neglectful parent should be withdrawn so that the child may be placed for adoption. If the "best interest of the child" principle is used, this decision will be made quickly. If the "​family preservation"​ principle is used, the decision will be delayed again and again, often until repeated neglect convinces the authorities that parental rights must be removed. At this point, in addition to having suffered even more, the child is older and more difficult to place.+This statistic highlights the need for termination units -- specialized units of social workers who work with the courts to determine whether the parental rights of an [[demographics_of_child_abuse|abusing or neglectful parent]] should be withdrawn so that the child may be placed for adoption. If the "best interest of the child" principle is used, this decision will be made quickly. If the "​family preservation"​ principle is used, the decision will be delayed again and again, often until repeated neglect convinces the authorities that parental rights must be removed. At this point, in addition to having suffered even more, the child is older and more difficult to place.
  
-Given these figures, public welfare agencies are a major source of neglect of young black children. The bias against adopting early, when the child is most adoptable, feeds the foster care system and ensures a larger clientele for public agencies. The present system of financing foster care and not financing adoptions perversely rewards this form of government neglect.+Given these figures, ​[[barriers_to_adoption_in_the_united_states|public welfare agencies]] are a major source of neglect of young black children. The bias against adopting early, when the child is most adoptable, feeds the foster care system and ensures a larger clientele for public agencies. The present system of financing foster care and not financing adoptions perversely rewards this form of government neglect.
  
 =====2. Black Families and Adoption===== =====2. Black Families and Adoption=====
  
-There is some evidence that blacks adopt at a much higher rate than whites if one controls for family structure, income, and age of parents.((There are no ongoing survey data which sample for adoption rates. This makes the estimation of incidence and rates spotty over time and more difficult to estimate accurately.)) A 1983 Department of Health and Human Services study((Charles P. Gershenson, "​Community Response to Children Free for Adoption,"​ //Child Welfare Research Notes// ​No. 3, Children'​s Bureau, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, March 1984.)) put these comparable rates at:+There is some evidence that blacks adopt at a much higher rate than whites if one controls for family structure, income, and age of parents.((There are no ongoing survey data which sample for adoption rates. This makes the estimation of incidence and rates spotty over time and more difficult to estimate accurately.)) A 1983 Department of Health and Human Services study((Charles P. Gershenson, "​Community Response to Children Free for Adoption,"​ //Child Welfare Research Notes// ​no. 3 (1984).)) put these comparable rates at:
   * 7 adoptions per 10,000 black families for all black families;   * 7 adoptions per 10,000 black families for all black families;
   * 2 adoptions per 10,000 white families for all white families; and   * 2 adoptions per 10,000 white families for all white families; and
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   * 3 adoptions per 10,000 Hispanic families within the range.   * 3 adoptions per 10,000 Hispanic families within the range.
  
-These figures convey the reality of much higher adoption rates among blacks than among whites or Hispanics for children in public welfare agencies who are available for adoption.((However,​ if blacks are serving at a rate much higher than their presence in the nation, then the issue of bias against blacks either does not hold up or, at a minimum, is more complex.)) There is, however, conflicting evidence that white women were more likely to make adoption plans than black women.((Christine Bachrach, "​Adoption Plans, Adopted Children and Adoptive Mothers,"​ //Journal of Marriage and the Family//, ​Vol. 48 (May 1986), pp. 243-253)) ​+These figures convey the reality of much higher adoption rates among blacks than among whites or Hispanics for children in public welfare agencies who are available for adoption.((However,​ if blacks are serving at a rate much higher than their presence in the nation, then the issue of bias against blacks either does not hold up or, at a minimum, is more complex.)) There is, however, conflicting evidence that white women were more likely to make adoption plans than black women.((Christine Bachrach, "​Adoption Plans, Adopted Children and Adoptive Mothers,"​ //Journal of Marriage and the Family// ​48, (1986)243-253)) ​
  
 To meet the needs of all children within their own racial communities by placing them in couple-headed families above poverty, the same study suggests that the response rate among black families would have to be far higher than it is. It would need to approach 44 per 10,000 families for blacks, compared with 6 per 10,000 families for whites and 6 per 10,000 families for Hispanics. This would require an enormous increase in the rates of adoption by blacks and Hispanics. Richard Barth of the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley sums up the conclusions to which these data lead: To meet the needs of all children within their own racial communities by placing them in couple-headed families above poverty, the same study suggests that the response rate among black families would have to be far higher than it is. It would need to approach 44 per 10,000 families for blacks, compared with 6 per 10,000 families for whites and 6 per 10,000 families for Hispanics. This would require an enormous increase in the rates of adoption by blacks and Hispanics. Richard Barth of the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley sums up the conclusions to which these data lead:
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 To achieve these levels of adoption will require a great community effort by black and Hispanic people. To achieve these levels of adoption will require a great community effort by black and Hispanic people.
  
-As well-run private agencies demonstrate,​ large pools of adoptive parents can be developed over time. Even pools of parents for "​harder to place children"​ can be developed when the effort is made by a committed organization. For instance, Down's syndrome children are adopted ​quite quickly because there is a network of screened parents in place and ready to adopt. Similarly, a pool of parents ready to adopt HIV-positive babies has been developed by the National Council for Adoption.+As well-run private agencies demonstrate,​ large pools of [[parents_wanting_to_adopt|adoptive parents]] can be developed over time. Even pools of parents for "​harder to place children"​ can be developed when the effort is made by a committed organization. For instance, Down's syndrome children are adopted ​relatively ​quickly because there is a network of screened parents in place and ready to adopt. Similarly, a pool of parents ready to adopt HIV-positive babies has been developed by the National Council for Adoption.
  
 In a 1980 study of black parents, sociology professor Robert Hill of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University estimated that three million black households are interested in adopting children. This translates into one hundred black families for every black child in foster care waiting for adoption.((Robert B. Hill, //Research on the African-American Family// (Westport, Conn.: Auburn House, 1993).)) Given this potential, a pool of prescreened adoptive parents big enough to take care of the needs of black children represents an achievable goal. In a 1980 study of black parents, sociology professor Robert Hill of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University estimated that three million black households are interested in adopting children. This translates into one hundred black families for every black child in foster care waiting for adoption.((Robert B. Hill, //Research on the African-American Family// (Westport, Conn.: Auburn House, 1993).)) Given this potential, a pool of prescreened adoptive parents big enough to take care of the needs of black children represents an achievable goal.
  
-The private sector can best develop this pool because private organizations are motivated to do so. Building pools of parents is not the strong suit of public agencies.((According to Tony Oliver of Roots in College Park, Georgia, the state of Georgia has 127 counties and child welfare agencies, but only seven counties have adoption units.)) Some private organizations in the black community have achieved remarkable results. ​Recently, for instance, in just one year, Detroit'​s Homes for Black Children placed 132 children in black homes -- more than all the other 13 child welfare agencies in the city.((William Raspberry, "Why Won't Adoption Agencies Place Black Children?"​ //The Washington Post//, ​December 221990pA15.)) To increase the rate of adoption within black families, the leadership of the black community should commit itself strongly to using private organizations.+The private sector can best develop this pool because private organizations are motivated to do so. Building pools of parents is not the strong suit of public agencies.((According to Tony Oliver of Roots in College Park, Georgia, the state of Georgia has 127 counties and child welfare agencies, but only seven counties have adoption units.)) Some private organizations in the black community have achieved remarkable results. ​For instance, in just one year, Detroit'​s Homes for Black Children placed 132 children in black homes -- more than all the other 13 child welfare agencies in the city.((William Raspberry, "Why Won't Adoption Agencies Place Black Children?"​ //The Washington Post// ​(1990): A15.)) Since the agency took off in 1969over 1,800 children have been placed for adoption.((Homes For Black ChildrenAdoption Services, available at [[http://​www.homes4blackchildren.org/?​page_id=7]])) To increase the rate of adoption within black families, the leadership of the black community should commit itself strongly to using private organizations.
  
 Although the emphasis should be on making it easier for black families to adopt, blocking transracial adoptions just because the children are black and the parents are white discriminates against many needy black children because of race. Moreover, it does not increase the rate of in-race adoption. California, despite a law requiring a 90-day search for a same-race family before a child can be adopted across racial lines, still has twice as many black children as white children waiting for adoption, often for long periods.((Richard Barth reported his findings at a meeting on transracial adoption sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation in Washington, D.C., in February 1994.)) ​ Although the emphasis should be on making it easier for black families to adopt, blocking transracial adoptions just because the children are black and the parents are white discriminates against many needy black children because of race. Moreover, it does not increase the rate of in-race adoption. California, despite a law requiring a 90-day search for a same-race family before a child can be adopted across racial lines, still has twice as many black children as white children waiting for adoption, often for long periods.((Richard Barth reported his findings at a meeting on transracial adoption sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation in Washington, D.C., in February 1994.)) ​
  
-The Institute for Justice ​last year filed suit on behalf of a white foster couple who had cared for a black child since birth. When the child became eligible, they sought to adopt him but were blocked by the public welfare agency because they were not black. Even when black parents were not found, the agency persisted in blocking this adoption. No one can argue that this was in the best interest of the child.((Press release, "​Institute for Justice Challenges Barriers to Interracial Adoption,"​ April 13, 1995.)) Similar racial discrimination prevented the adoption of a white child by a black couple who had fostered the child since birth. +The Institute for Justice filed suit on behalf of a white foster couple who had cared for a black child since birth. When the child became eligible, they sought to adopt him but were blocked by the public welfare agency because they were not black. Even when black parents were not found, the agency persisted in blocking this adoption. No one can argue that this was in the best interest of the child.((Press release, "​Institute for Justice Challenges Barriers to Interracial Adoption,"​ April 13, 1995
- +\\ 
-In 1984liberal black columnist Carl T. Rowan argued against ​the "​abominable notion that race must be the dominant factor in deciding who can deliver loving ​care and protection to a child."​ Rowan equated the position of black social workers who support only in-race adoption with a 1954 statement ​by a segregationist Mississippi editor that "every child has the right to be educated among children and by teachers ​of the same racial background."​((Carl T. Rowan, "​Should Whites Adopt Blacks?"​ //The Washington Post//, July 13, 1984, p. A19; quoted in Rita J. Simon and Howard Alstein, Transracial Adoptees and Their Families (New York: Praeger, 1994), p. 7.)) Furthermore,​ according to professor Rita Simon, sociologist at the American University and expert in transracial adoption, "The data in our studies and indeed in all the studies that have been done show that transracial adoptions serve the children'​s best interests."​((Rita Simon, "​Serving the Children'​s Best Interest,"​ //Interrace Magazine//, August/​September 1994, pp. 40-42.))  +\\ 
- +\\ 
-Still, opposition to transracial adoption is strong. When former Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) steered S. 1224 through Congress in 1993, he did so to outlaw obstacles similar to the above restrictions that exist in most states. But the Clinton Administration,​ which supports race matching, succeeded in changing the legislation so that lack of race matching could be used to deny or delay a placement.((Rita Kramer, "​Adoption in Minority and White,"​ //The Wall Street Journal//, October 24, 1994.)) Instead of encouraging solutions, such as private adoption agencies that specialize in placing black children, the Administration'​s policy aggravates the problem. +This entry draws heavily from [[http://​www.heritage.org/​research/​reports/​1996/​05/​bg1080nbsp-promoting-adoption-reform|Promoting Adoption Reform: Congress Can Give Children Another Chance]].)) Similar racial discrimination prevented the adoption of a white child by a black couple who had fostered the child since birth. ​Although interracial adoptions may pose some cultural hurdles, the love and care offered ​by a permanent home trumps ​the instability ​of the foster care system.
- +
-The Bunning Amendment, incorporated into the House-passed welfare bill, repeals the Clinton policy. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had a similar amendment (S. 637) to the Senate version of the welfare reform bill. The Children'​s Defense Fund supported the Clinton Administration'​s approach,​((Marian Wright Edelman, letter to the editor, "We Want Adoption for All the Children,"​ //The Wall Street Journal//, November 22, 1994, p. A-25.)) despite the evidence of researchers such as Rita Simon, who shows that transracial adoption does not damage the child emotionally or developmentally and that transracially adopted children do just as well as those adopted by parents of their own race.((Rita Simon, "​Serving the Children'​s Best Interest,"​ //Interrace Magazine//, August/​September 1994, pp. 40-42.))  +
- +
-Race matching can be achieved easily if there are enough prescreened adoptive parents. The difficulty lies not in the lack of parents but in the poor track record of public agencies in building a pool of black adoptive parents.+