Ethics in American Adoption

Ethics in American Adoption

Ethics in American Adoption

Ethics in American Adoption

Synopsis

Today in the United States there is a lack of consensus about what constitutes ethical practice in adoption. Although ethics in adoption is a hot topic, adoption specialists and professionals are unsure about how to serve the best interests of children who need to be adopted and how birth parents, adoptive parents, and adult adoptees ought to be served. This failure to identify and prioritize ethical standards in adoption has resulted in a lack of ethical decision-making and inadequate--and sometimes fraudulent--treatment of those seeking adoption-related services. Based on the first research study to specifically study ethics in adoption practice, this book offers an in-depth exploration of the history of values in adoption, various codes and standards of practice affecting adoption work nationally and internationally and presents a suggested list of ethical standards specific to adoption work.

Excerpt

In education and clinical orientation I'm an existential-phenomenological psychologist. Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes choice and personal responsibility and that thinks much of our distress in life results from our attempt to deny our freedom, to run away from it, to lose ourselves in the comforting distractions and illusions of ordinary, routine existence, or to rationalize our flight from freedom by locating the cause of our actions in factors external to the Self. The tragic irony is that these denials, which begin as efforts to reduce tension, in time become enslavements, depleting life of its pleasure, stimulation, and joy, dehumanizing it into a hollow, meaningless futility. Existentialism further maintains that we find fulfillment in life, find what existentialists call "authenticity," when we face that freedom--face it together with the other great imponderables of human existence, such as Death, Loneliness, Despair, Suffering, Illness, Hope and Joy, with all the anxiety, the fear and trembling, and the Dread, to which this encounter with the truth about ourselves inevitably gives rise. Then, with the "Courage to Be" as Tillich says, we recognize and affirm our freedom and assume our responsibilities in what another existentialist, Gabriel Marcel, calls "creative fidelity" to transcendentals whose claims we are always free to renounce or embrace. Authenticity imparts dignity, strengthens resolve, gives a spine to character, materializes as a desire to dwell, tend, cultivate, and care in community.

Phenomenology is an attitude, or "method," that supposes the best means for arriving at truth is through a description and reflection upon ordinary experience whose discipline unfolds through an attentive wonder-

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