- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: Praeger; 2 edition (May 30, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 089789538X
- ISBN-13: 978-0897895385
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,642,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ethics in American Adoption 2nd Edition
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"Ethic in American Adoption will interest primarily to those wanting a basic introduction to ethical practice guidelines based on an appreciation of these issues."-Journal of Marriage and Family
?Ethic in American Adoption will interest primarily to those wanting a basic introduction to ethical practice guidelines based on an appreciation of these issues.?-Journal of Marriage and Family
?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
"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
About the Author
L. ANNE BABB is Executive Director of a nonprofit adoption advocacy center, the Family Tree Adoption and Counseling Center in Norman, Oklahoma. She is recognized as one of the country's foremost public servants and adoption advocates for her work on behalf of adoptable children and is the co-author of Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child (Bergin & Garvey, 1997).
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Top customer reviews
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.
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. However, all 50 of the state licensors of public adoption agencies were surveyed, as well as 22 "child welfare organizations", among these groups were the Concerned United Birthparents (a group which has historically been opposed to most of adoption) and the National Association of Black Social Workers, which in 1972, called interracial adoption "genocide". Given the fact that most adoption is done privately in the USA, it was not a surprise to me that many of the survey participants found fault with many aspects of adoption practices. One curious finding of the survey was how many of the surveyed participants when asked to define "best interest of the child" proceeded to articulate as their three most important criteria, subjects that dealt with the birth family keeping the child in the first place. The conclusions were interesting, overall, but the survey could hardly be called representative of adoption professionals, where no private agencies appear to have been represented. At times, survey answers appeared ridiculous. When asked what a reasonable adoption fee was, 27 survey participants, out of 73, felt that it should be less than....
The book is simply too idealistic. Granted reforms are needed in terms of open records, and laws that are blatantly one-sided. However, to give an example, Babb suggests as a standard for reform, that the costs of running adoption agencies be paid for through taxes, or some method other than through adoptive, and prospective adoptive couples. What she essentially advocates is the abolition of private adoption agencies and making adoption a state-run program. In my opinion, private adoption would become virtually impossible if it were paid for in this fashion. I won't digress on the advantages/disadvantages of abolishing private adoption, simply because it isn't going to happen. Private adoption providers and adoption attorneys, as well as conservative and heavily financed pro-adoption groups like the NCFA aren't going to allow it to happen. Such groups will lobby legislatures to prevent these changes and possess far more power than those who want them.
What I felt after finishing the book is that the author provided some excellent history and background information and addressed an important issue, changing unethical adoption practices. The book is well-written and its not hard to follow where the author is going. However, the author's cause, adoption reform, might be better served by being less idealistic and more practical. Reforms could be accomplished by imposing caps or limitations on fees charged by private agencies (that reflect real costs) and by forcing agencies to itemize to prospective adoptive parents exactly what their money is going for. Other reforms that are not radical, but would be helpful, include general support for open records laws for adoptees and simply mandating that all adoptions take place through a state licensed agency. (as opposed to facilitators and attorneys doing adoptions). This is a more modest agenda, which might ultimately be successful....