Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Adoption Policy and Special Needs Children

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Adoption Policy and Special Needs Children

Article excerpt

Adoption Policy and Special Needs Children. Rosemary J. Avery (Ed.). Westport, CT: Auburn House. 1997. 240 pp. ISBN 0-86569212-2. $55.00 cloth.

Recently, I heard about the case of a 10-yearold boy left in limbo by a bureaucratic debate over payment for an out-of-state adoption. In response to a 6-month delay, the potential adoptive parent took a child from another state with less rigid adoption policies. After several more foster placements, the boy now lives in an institution for emotionally disturbed children. I was shocked to learn that these types of events are not uncommon. "The clock is ticking!" said the boy's worker.

"More often than not, the system fails these children. Most are in care for four or five years after parental rights are severed, transferred from foster home to foster home, with little hope of adoption. Who knows the effects of those constant transitions, or what a permanent placement could have meant to this boy."

In a less impassioned way, Rosemary Avery's book, Adoption Policy and Special Needs Children, presents a similar view of "The clock is ticking!" This edition examines the institutional barriers that agency professionals face in arranging the adoption of "special needs" children, that is, children of color, older children, sibling groups, and children with disabilities. Because such children exhibit a wide range of physical and emotional problems requiring specific attention, their placement often involves innovative strategies not covered by agency regulation. Consequently, most are either overlooked as potential candidates for adoption or left in limbo while bureaucratic decisions are made about the possibility of placing them in unconventional family settings. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.