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Ethics in American Adoption Hardcover – May 30, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0521800211 ISBN-10: 0521800218

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (May 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521800218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521800211
  • ASIN: 089789538X
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,492,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Ethics In American Adoption is a benchmark publication in the fields of ethics and adoption. [Babb] offers numerous case studies describing what is amiss with America's adoption system as it is currently constituted. She raises significant questions about what adoption facilitators are doing who is accountable for what they are doing, and whose interests they are serving. This seminal work should be read by policy makers, social workers, children's court judges, prospective adopters, and anyone else involved in the adoption process."-Wisconsin Bookwatch, August 1999

Book Description

Addresses the problem of unethical behavior in adoption service delivery and examines the values underlying adoption practice.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have known the author, Dr. Babb, for many years, but I read this book only with an eye to its potential contribution to adoption in America. And its contribution is unique, important, and long overdue. Every adoption agency and attorney in this nation should apply the ethical standards outlined in this book, for the sake of all triad members. Adoption cannot hope to be viewed as a profession if it does not have and institute a code of ethics. Now, we have one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dawn De Lorenzo on June 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is truly one of the best books I have read on adoption and I have done quite extensive research on the subject. Babb states that "...were Congress to convene a congressional committee to investigate and document the effects of nonregulation of adoption on adoption clients, there is no doubt that the written testimony of those affected would fill volumes" (p. 190). My own international adoption nightmare would be one of the testimonies filling those pages. This book is the first I have read that is clear, concise, insightful, and cogent. While Babb is passionate about the issue of ethics in adoption, her arguments are not emotionally laden to the point of being banal. She clearly outlines the benefits to all parties of the adoption triad, as well as child welfare as a whole, were adoption to be professionalized and a code of ethics created with "...nationally accepted standards of behavior defining the professional's obligations to clients, colleagues, and society" (p. 191).

The one contention I have is some of the specific tenets of Babb's Recommended Model for Ethical Standards in Adoption. One of these is the professional's responsibility to the adoptee in which she states that one responsibility is to protect the child's right to grow up with his or her family of origin. In today's society there is a glorification, to the point of idolatry in my opinion, of the blood related family and calls for family preservation at all costs. While laudable efforts should be made to preserve or reunify the family, the ultimate responsibility of the professional, and society, is to protect the child and his or her innate right to a family. We need to approach family preservation with cautious optimism rather than reverence lest we fail to protect the child that we claim to work in the best interests of.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Crack Reviewer on January 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
L. Anne Babb, an adoption professional, has written a book that essentially concerns the issue of raising the ethical standards practiced by adoption practitioners in the USA. I write my review, as an adoptive parent who is somewhat familiar with the adoption system, and adoption practices.
Unquestionably, serious problems do exist. Some of these problems include practices that keep adoptees from being able to access family history and health information (the open records problem), the lack of regulation and standards that are imposed on adoption agencies and attorneys by the states in which they practice, outright dishonesty by certain practitioners, and the unavailability of appropriate counseling services for all triad members served by agencies. Babb reviews these problems and provides a history of adoption in America.
Babb also does a respectable job of reviewing different standards that have been compiled with respect to international adoption. She mentions standards developed by the Child Welfare League of America and the United Nations. As part of it, she reviews provisons of the CRC (Convention on the Rights of Children) that has recently been ratified by the US Senate.
She surveyed adoption professionals about different aspects of adoption practices and reports the conclusions of the surveys. I noted, interestingly, that none of her survey participants appeared to be from any private adoption agencies--no matter what their reputation was.
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