Government Interest in Adoption

Since the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (1980) brought about an increase in kinship adoptions, government efforts to promote adoptions overall have increased. In 1998, 100,000 children were reported to be waiting for adoption. The government goal for adoption was set at 56,000 in 2002.

On behalf of adoptable and adopted children, it needs to be noted, de lege ferenda, that it must become illegal for governmental authorities and particularly the legal system to disrupt strong psychological bonds between young children and their caregivers. If a parent has not been concerned enough to be cognizant of the existence of a child he fathered, or if biological parents are reconsidering their deci sion to give a child up for adoption and demand the return of this child who is now emotionally rooted elsewhere, their claim has to be denied in the interest of the child. The right to maintain strong psychological bonds has to supersede the presumed rights of blood relatives that were never executed to establish firm mutual psychological attachments.

Erika Wick

St. John's University, New York

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