More couples choose interracial option
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``What is important is that a family wants a child and is willing to love it,'' she stresses.Skip to next paragraph
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``Never adopt for a political cause - or to raise a banner,'' she cautions.
Dean Simon further points out that, although certain black-advocacy groups (including NABSW) continue to oppose transracial adoption, court are starting to say that ``while race may be a factor, it shouldn't be the determining factor'' in child placement.
However, the sociologist does see the need to help black families adopt through publicly subsidized adoption and an easing of placement regulations.
Toni Oliver, adoption specialist at the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, a black self-help group centered in the nation's capital, says there is ``no reluctance'' to adopt on the part of black families. She adds, however, that social service agency regulations often hinder the process by requiring ``unreasonable'' criteria for prospective adoptive parents - such as ruling out those over 40, insisting on two-parent families, and the requirements for stable employment and a relatively high income level.
Ms. Oliver says her organization is just now forming a national foundation to facilitate adoption of black children by black families across the nation. Recruitment and placement services will be stressed.
Meanwhile, efforts to place another category of adoptive children, the handicapped, are being made with the help of adoption-assistance funds available under a section of the US Social Security Act.
Some child specialists point out that states sometimes obtain more federal money by keeping such youngsters in foster care. And they urge the federal government to provide better incentives for family placement.
Cooperative public-private adoption efforts have met with mixed successes across the nation.
One positive effort - the Chicago-based ``One Church, One Child'' program, a partnership between clergy and an Illinois state agency that seeks homes for so-called hard-to-place youngsters - has cut the number of children eligible for adoption from over 700 to less than 50 over a six-year period. Similar programs are under way in more than 20 other states.
Also adoption of foreign children by Americans has increased more than twofold within a decade - to over 9,000 by the mid-l980s. Most of the children come from South Korea and Latin America. A score of agencies facilitate these adoptions.
At $20,000 or more per adoption, ``it's more expensive,'' Simon points out. However, some of the poorer nations have resented the United States quest for their children and are setting stricter standards for such intercountry adoption.
These placements have also been attended by a few highly publicized scandals involving baby-selling, profiteering, and smuggling of children.
The United Nations has urged stronger international adoption controls, including measures aimed at eliminating the possible abuse of children in this type of transfer.