Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Report on race and adoption may challenge federal law; will adoption some day become a "duty"?

There is recent controversy about the Multiethic Placement Act of 1994, which prohibits social workers from mentioning a child’s race during placement for adoption or in managing foster care. In 2007, David J. Herring at the University of Pittsburgh published a paper “The Multiethnic Placement Act: A Threat to Child Safety and Wellbeing,” here. Today, The Washington Post, on p A2, runs a story by Darryl Fears, “Study of ’94 Adoption Law Finds Little Benefit to Blacks,” A new report, associated with the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York City is called “Finding Families for African-American Children: The Role of Race and Law in Adoption from Foster Care.” The link for the report is here. The report suggests more flexibility in the law in the ability to consider race in the placement effort.

The text for Title VI “The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994” is at the website of HHS Administration for Children & Families, link here.

Media coverage on the need for foster and adoptive parents has increased in recent years, as with NBC4’s “Wednesday’s Child” segment (as well as adoption expos; there was one in Dec 2007 reported on this blog). In some parts of the country, such as Minneapolis (where bus stop wait seat backs had adoption ads in 2003 when I was living there), local policies encourage singles to adopt.

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