Kids Raised by the Government

By Ira M. Schwartz; Gideon Fishman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Adopted: Who Is and Who Isn't?

National data on adoptions suffers from the same deficiencies as does all other child welfare data. It is incomplete, not particularly reliable, and doesn't allow for meaningful intejurisdictional comparisons. Available statewide data is sparse to nonexistent in many states. This makes it virtually impossible to formulate a clear national and state-by-state perspective on adoption trends and issues ( Tatara, 1993; Finch, Fanschel, and Grundy, 1991; Flango, 1990). For example, a recent Child Welfare League of America ( CWLA) publication, Child Abuse and Neglect: A Look at the States ( 1997), included data on the number of children who were adopted from public child welfare agencies in 1993. Data from the public agencies in forty-seven states showed that 27,115 children were legally adopted during 1995 ( Petit and Curtis, 1997, p. 124). In the same document, it is reported that 125,248 children were adopted from various and supposedly all known public and private sources in 1992. It is estimated that approximately 40 percent were adopted from public agencies, which would bring the number of public agency adoptions to 50,000 ( Petit and Curtis, 1997). More recently, President Clinton was quoted as indicating that the number of public agency adoptions was approximately 20,000 in 1995 and that his goal for the country was to get to "at least 54,000 children adopted or permanently placed from the public foster care system by 2002" (The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 1997, November 4).

It is sad to observe that we are in the midst of an information and technological revolution and yet we are incapable of getting an accurate picture on how many children are adopted in the United States and from what sources. Among other things, this severely limits the ability of policymakers and professionals really to understand the dimensions of the phenomenon they are dealing with and to develop meaningful and rational policies and solutions.

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Kids Raised by the Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • List of Tables and Figures 7
  • Preface 9
  • Acknowledgments 13
  • Chapter 1 - A Wake-Up Call for the Child Welfare System 15
  • References 34
  • Chapter 2 - Child Welfare Reform: An Elusive Goal 37
  • References 49
  • Chapter 3 - The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act: Good Intentions Gone Awry 53
  • References 68
  • Chapter 4 - Adopted: Who is and Who Isn't? 71
  • References 85
  • Chapter 5 - Child Welfare and Delinquency: Between Compassion and Control 87
  • References 101
  • Chapter 6 - The Role of Residential Care 103
  • References 115
  • Chapter 7 - Public Policy and Child Welfare: Agenda for the 21st Century 117
  • References 142
  • Index 145
  • About the Authors *
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