NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2010 – An extensive examination of adoptive families in the United States, released today, concludes that too many are not receiving the essential services they need, and calls for a reshaping of national priorities and resources to develop and provide such services.
In an effort to demonstrate the breadth of professional support for a “paradigm shift,” major child welfare and adoption organizations across the country joined in endorsing the 98-page report, which was researched and published by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and is entitled “Keeping the Promise: The Critical Need for Post-Adoption Services to Enable Children and Families to Succeed.”
The report stresses that the vast majority of adopted children function normally – and their parents are highly satisfied with their families. But it also points out that just over the past 15 years, nearly a million boys and girls were adopted by Americans from foster care in our country and from orphanages abroad, and the majority of U.S. adoptions continue to be of those types (by far, mostly from state child welfare systems).
“What it means is that these children live with the emotional, psychological and developmental consequences of having been abused, neglected or institutionalized before they were adopted,” said Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman. “The good news is that most of them, and their families, are doing just fine; the bad news is that the ones who need help too often aren’t getting it.”
The Adoption Institute report, which is the most comprehensive compilation of knowledge about post-adoption services to date, recommends that “the paradigm has to shift” from simply forming families to providing the supports needed to raise children to healthy adulthood. Among its recommendations are to:
- Convene a national leadership task force to shape/ promote changes in policy and practice.
- Develop public-private partnerships and dedicate federal funding for post-adoption services.
- Make such services a routine part of federal, state and local child welfare planning/financing.
- Fund and conduct critically needed research to develop/ assess the most effective services.
The endorsing organizations include: the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the Dave Thomas Foundation Voice for Adoption, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the National Council for Adoption, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, the Adoption Exchange Association, the Kinship Center, Lutheran Social Services of New England, Spence-Chapin Services to Families, The Cradle, Bethany Christian Services, the Center for Family Connections, the Center for Adoption Support and Education, the New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children, Wide Horizons for Children, Adoptions Together, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, and Adoption Resources of Wisconsin. Additional organizations support this work and plan to utilize and disseminate it, but are constrained by governmental or other regulations from becoming official “endorsers.”
For more details about “Keeping the Promise” or to schedule an interview, contact Pertman at 617-763-0134 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Its mission is to provide leadership – through sound research – that improves the lives of everyone touched by adoption. Its website is www.adoptioninstitute.org. Download the report and press release below.