Adoption Survey Records Slight Dip: Special-Need Cases Doubled in Decade

By Wetzstein, Cheryl | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 24, 1999 | Go to article overview

Adoption Survey Records Slight Dip: Special-Need Cases Doubled in Decade


Wetzstein, Cheryl, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Adoptions of children with special needs almost doubled between 1986 and 1996, according to a new book of adoption statistics.

Overall adoptions, however, have dipped slightly in this decade, and there were fewer adoptions of infants than in the mid-1980s.

The Adoption Fact Book III is intended to be used by policy-makers, researchers and others interested in adoption, said Bill Pierce, president of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), which released the book yesterday.

The 637-page book draws on statistics from government sources and private research, and has chapters on public and private adoption, domestic and foreign adoption, birth parents, adoptive parents and grandparents. It also lists state adoption laws and support groups.

The book identifies 21 "barriers to adoption," and, through essays written by prominent adoption experts, recommends changes such as enacting putative fathers' registries in every state, repealing the Indian Child Welfare Act, introducing positive discussions about adoption in schools, and using all legal means to keep promises of confidentiality made to birth mothers or adoptive parents.

Another needed improvement is government collection of adoption data, Mr. Pierce said. NCFA's last fact book came out in 1989, and the group waited essentially 10 years before making another one because of hopes that the federal government would step in and collect the data.

The federal government's lack of dedication in keeping adoption data "is our biggest disappointment," said Mr. …

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