Foster homes instead of orphanages

Regarding the article ``Welfare Reform: Are Orphanages a '90s Answer?'' Dec. 1: I know that bad foster homes exist, but as a relatively new foster parent, I have found a huge population of unselfish, loving, and giving foster parents doing a thankless job, unpaid except for tremendous personal satisfaction, working against incredible government mentality and red tape for the benefit of children abused and neglected because of drug use.

One social worker summed up my frustrations by telling me that the courts have changed their standard from ``best interest of the child'' to ``minimum level of care.'' At least for the drug babies, the answer lies in reversing the Department of Social Services constant push for reunification back to the way it used to be, when American families were able to adopt these little ones. With all the talk about orphanages, I am disturbed that no one is talking about adoption. From my perspective, it is the best solution. Linda Bargmann, Escondido, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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