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government_s_approach_to_adoption [2015/10/24 21:20]
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government_s_approach_to_adoption [2015/11/13 13:54] (current)
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 Adoption is one of those rare good solutions to many thorny problems. Political leaders should help the country realize that it is one of the most effective ways to alleviate the problems arising from [[effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_society|illegitimacy]],​ [[child_abuse_in_the_united_states|child abuse, and neglect]]. Adoption is one of those rare good solutions to many thorny problems. Political leaders should help the country realize that it is one of the most effective ways to alleviate the problems arising from [[effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_society|illegitimacy]],​ [[child_abuse_in_the_united_states|child abuse, and neglect]].
  
-Lawmakers also must challenge the leaders of other major institutions,​ especially church leaders, to talk about the [[adoption_outcomes|goodness of adoption]]. Educational leaders, particularly in social studies areas, ought to be challenged to develop good materials on adoption. Health insurance leaders ought to be challenged as well, for adoption is a less costly solution to infertility than is most fertility treatment. Media leaders ought to harness their expertise in communications to promote adoption to the nation at large, instead of attacking it.((Marvin Olasky, "The War on Adoption,"​ //National Review//June 7, 1993, pp. 38-44.)) ​+Lawmakers also must challenge the leaders of other major institutions,​ especially church leaders, to talk about the [[adoption_outcomes|goodness of adoption]]. Educational leaders, particularly in social studies areas, ought to be challenged to develop good materials on adoption. Health insurance leaders ought to be challenged as well, for adoption is a less costly solution to infertility than is most fertility treatment. Media leaders ought to harness their expertise in communications to promote adoption to the nation at large, instead of attacking it.((Marvin Olasky, "The War on Adoption,"​ //National Review// ​(June 7, 1993): 38-44.)) ​
  
 The more this is done, the more attractive adoption will be to growing numbers of families. America also needs to celebrate [[parents_wanting_to_adopt|parents who adopt]] and parents who care for foster children -- especially those who both foster and adopt. ​ The more this is done, the more attractive adoption will be to growing numbers of families. America also needs to celebrate [[parents_wanting_to_adopt|parents who adopt]] and parents who care for foster children -- especially those who both foster and adopt. ​
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 To increase the pool of available parents to fill the [[the_need_for_adoption|needs of all children]], states should encourage the privatization of adoption. Specialized agencies can work constructively with those sections of the community that are willing to serve the many different needs of children: black children, older children, children with [[parents_wanting_to_adopt|special medical problems]], and children with other emotional or developmental difficulties. As different groups already have demonstrated,​ it is possible to line up a pool of screened and qualified parents more than willing to adopt children with even the most difficult needs. To increase the pool of available parents to fill the [[the_need_for_adoption|needs of all children]], states should encourage the privatization of adoption. Specialized agencies can work constructively with those sections of the community that are willing to serve the many different needs of children: black children, older children, children with [[parents_wanting_to_adopt|special medical problems]], and children with other emotional or developmental difficulties. As different groups already have demonstrated,​ it is possible to line up a pool of screened and qualified parents more than willing to adopt children with even the most difficult needs.
  
-One effort, started by Fr. George Clements in Chicago in the mid-1980s had each church set about achieving the adoption of one child within the congregation.((Christine Adamec and William L. Pierce, //The Encyclopedia of Adoption// (New York: Facts on File, 1991), ​p. 68.)) Though initially the program received wide publicity and had some impact, it has not become a sustained and organized national effort. However, in Florida, One Church, One Child of Florida has developed a successful partnership between church and state. Between March 1988 and September 1990, this organization placed 805 [[barriers_to_black_children_in_adoption|black children in adoption]].((Christine Adamec and William L. Pierce, //The Encyclopedia of Adoption// (New York: Facts on File, 1991), ​pp. 68-69.)) ​+One effort, started by Fr. George Clements in Chicago in the mid-1980s had each church set about achieving the adoption of one child within the congregation.((Christine Adamec and William L. Pierce, //The Encyclopedia of Adoption// (New York: Facts on File, 1991), 68.)) Though initially the program received wide publicity and had some impact, it has not become a sustained and organized national effort. However, in Florida, One Church, One Child of Florida has developed a successful partnership between church and state. Between March 1988 and September 1990, this organization placed 805 [[barriers_to_black_children_in_adoption|black children in adoption]].((Christine Adamec and William L. Pierce, //The Encyclopedia of Adoption// (New York: Facts on File, 1991), 68-69.)) ​
  
 Phoebe Dawson, a social worker who heads New Beginnings (a licensed nonprofit adoption agency in Columbus, Georgia) has been very successful in this work. For instance, an agency in Cleveland, Ohio, was not able to find minority parents for a young minority child, leaving the child at serious risk of a protracted wait for adoption. One worker at the agency contacted New Beginnings, which was able to resolve the problem quickly because of its close ties to black Baptist churches across the country. Phoebe Dawson, a social worker who heads New Beginnings (a licensed nonprofit adoption agency in Columbus, Georgia) has been very successful in this work. For instance, an agency in Cleveland, Ohio, was not able to find minority parents for a young minority child, leaving the child at serious risk of a protracted wait for adoption. One worker at the agency contacted New Beginnings, which was able to resolve the problem quickly because of its close ties to black Baptist churches across the country.
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 **5) Remove obstacles to transracial adoptions.** **5) Remove obstacles to transracial adoptions.**
  
-While working to increase the pool of [[barriers_to_black_children_in_adoption|minority parents]] and to enhance the flow of prequalified and ready-to-adopt minority parents, states should continue the practice of transracial adoption when no same-race parents are available. When the child becomes ready for adoption, his need is immediate and acute. Minority community groups can monitor the pool of prescreened,​ qualified minority parents for all the relevant categories of children: older children, older male children, sibling groups of children, medically needy children+While working to increase the pool of [[barriers_to_black_children_in_adoption|minority parents]] and to enhance the flow of prequalified and ready-to-adopt minority parents, states should continue the practice of transracial adoption when no same-race parents are available. When the child becomes ready for adoption, his need is immediate and acute. Minority community groups can monitor the pool of prescreened,​ qualified minority parents for all the relevant categories of children: older children, older male children, sibling groups of children, ​and medically needy children.
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-In addition to the issues involved in ending discrimination against black children waiting to be adopted and against black couples waiting to adopt, there is much else to be done by the states.+
  
 **6) Use leadership opportunities to encourage adoption.** **6) Use leadership opportunities to encourage adoption.**
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 **7) Establish separate units for termination of the parental rights of convicted abusing parents.** **7) Establish separate units for termination of the parental rights of convicted abusing parents.**
  
-When the difficult duty of assessing the appropriateness of terminating parental rights is commingled with the mandate to preserve the family at all costs, the good of the abused child suffers. The long-term good of the child is helped by establishing separate units of social workers who help the court reach clear and speedy decisions regarding the parents'​ right to continue as parents. These workers can help the courts without the conflict of interest that is present when they also try therapeutically to help the family come together or stay together. It is best that such work be carried on by a different set of professionals. The best interests of the child remain paramount while the effort to help the parent is vigorously pursued.+When the difficult duty of assessing the appropriateness of [[barriers_to_adoption_in_the_united_states|terminating parental rights]] is commingled with the mandate to preserve the family at all costs, the good of the [[effects_of_abuse_on_children|abused child suffers]]. The long-term good of the child is helped by establishing separate units of social workers who help the court reach clear and speedy decisions regarding the parents'​ right to continue as parents. These workers can help the courts without the conflict of interest that is present when they also try therapeutically to help the family come together or stay together. It is best that such work be carried on by a different set of professionals. The best interests of the child remain paramount while the effort to help the parent is vigorously pursued.
  
 **8) Enact a strict 12-month timeline for adjudication of the long-term parental status of every child in foster care.** **8) Enact a strict 12-month timeline for adjudication of the long-term parental status of every child in foster care.**
  
-A University of Chicago study finds that children who enter foster care as infants remain in the system 22 percent longer than other young children.((Conna Craig, "What I Need Is a Mom" //Policy Review// 73 (1995):40.+A University of Chicago study finds that children who enter foster care as infants remain in the system 22 percent longer than other young children.((Conna Craig, "What I Need Is a Mom" //Policy Review// 73(1995): 40.
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 **11) Mandate drug testing of pregnant mothers suspected of drug abuse, particularly cocaine abuse.** **11) Mandate drug testing of pregnant mothers suspected of drug abuse, particularly cocaine abuse.**
  
-Because of the high incidence of serious child abuse among drug-addicted mothers and because of the pain and damage done to cocaine-addicted babies, states should push for a federal law permitting the drug testing of mothers suspected of cocaine addiction so that hospitals may participate in such programs without being threatened with a cutoff of federal funds.+Because of the high incidence of serious ​[[demographics_of_child_abuse|child abuse among drug-addicted mothers]] and because of the pain and damage done to cocaine-addicted babies, states should push for a federal law permitting the drug testing of mothers suspected of cocaine addiction so that hospitals may participate in such programs without being threatened with a cutoff of federal funds.
  
 Children born to drug-addicted mothers are at risk for a host of difficulties and abuses: lower birth weight, physical abuse, and not getting the affectionate nurturing critical for early attachment formation and its concomitant long-range benefits, among them the formation of a solid conscience and the ability to relate well with others. Given these risks to the child, the requirement of drug testing when cocaine or crack cocaine ingestion is suspected is an appropriate protection. Children born to drug-addicted mothers are at risk for a host of difficulties and abuses: lower birth weight, physical abuse, and not getting the affectionate nurturing critical for early attachment formation and its concomitant long-range benefits, among them the formation of a solid conscience and the ability to relate well with others. Given these risks to the child, the requirement of drug testing when cocaine or crack cocaine ingestion is suspected is an appropriate protection.
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 **13) Enact laws requiring child welfare agencies to initiate adoption proceedings for any child who has been abandoned by his parents for six months.** **13) Enact laws requiring child welfare agencies to initiate adoption proceedings for any child who has been abandoned by his parents for six months.**
  
-This rule should apply for any child in out-of-home care for six months whose parent has not engaged in meaningful interaction with the child during that period. Due process in the courts will protect the rights of parents barred from contact with their children due to very unusual circumstances. However, a child left alone for six months is a child without a dedicated parent.+This rule should apply for any child in out-of-home care for six months whose parent has not engaged in meaningful interaction with the child during that period. Due process in the courts will protect the rights of parents barred from contact with their children due to very unusual circumstances. However, a child left alone for six months is a child without a [[barriers_to_adoption_in_the_united_states|dedicated parent]].