Finding Families for African American Children
The Evan Donaldson Adoption Institute released a report in 2008 titled “Findings Families for African American Children: The Role of Race & Law in Adoption from Foster Care” authored by Susan Smith, Ruth McRoy, Madelyn Freundlich, and Joe Kroll.
When children in foster care cannot be safely reunited with their birth parents or members of their extended families, they need the security, stability and love of adoptive parents. To ensure that children of color are placed with adoptive families who can meet their long-term needs, this report makes the following recommendations:
- Reinforce in all adoption-related laws, policies and practices that a child’s best interests must be paramount in placement decisions.
- Amend IEP to allow consideration of race/ethnicity in permanency planning and in the preparation of families adopting transracially. The original MEPA standard – which provided that race is one factor, but not the sole factor, to be considered in selecting a foster or adoptive parent for a child in foster care – should be reinstated.
- Enforce the MEPA requirement to recruit families who represent the racial and ethnic backgrounds of children in foster care and provide sufficient resources, including funding, to support such recruitment.
- Address existing barriers to fully engaging minority families in fostering and adopting by developing alliances with faith communities, minority placement agencies, and other minority recruitment programs.
- Provide support for adoption by relatives and, when that is not the best option for a particular child, provide federal funding for subsidized guardianship.
- To help families address their transracially adopted children’s needs, provide post-adoption support services from time of placement through children’s adolescence.
See our review and concerns about this report under the Creating a Family blog Transracial Adoption Revisited for a well reasoned rebuttal to this report see the Stress Reactivity Study.