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Producing Success in Transracial Adoption 48

Training for Transracial Adoptive Parents and Professionals Who Care for Transracially Adopted Children:

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This qualitative study explored barriers, supports, and strategies used in the process of becoming parents for lesbian couples, including the effects of homophobia and heterosexism on agency policy and access to services. The 13 couples interviewed for the study used insemination, adoption or a combination of both to become parents in the context of their current relationships. Analysis of the stories of these lesbian couples from a social constructionist/feminist framework provided valuable insight into the process of becoming parents in a large metropolitan area in the Midwest. Important themes emerged from the data in five areas: (a) lesbian parenthood; (b) disclosure/”outness” through the process; (c) the power of policy; (d) importance of context; and (e) the value of role models and supportive allies. The findings of this study highlight the importance of social work advocacy in facilitating lesbian couples accessing the services necessary to become parents.

B. Suggestions to Increase Likelihood of Successful Adoption Experience 25

Given recent legislative activity, such as the passing and implementation of the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, signed by President Clinton and authored by Senator Metsenbaum, it is important to be prepared for the growing needs of children in out-of-home placement. Specifically of increasing concern is the number of children of color who will need homes while in the foster care system and when these children are ready for permanent adoptive placements. "At the end of fiscal year 1990, the most recent year for which detailed data are available, adoption had been established as the goal for 69,000 foster children;" 43% of which were African American (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Historically, these children have not been targeted to receive quality services which are in their best interests. But instead, these children have received what was convenient and traditionally accessible to them. For this reason, it is important that social workers:

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Social workers perform a broad array of services to help children and birth and adoptive parents through the adoption and post-adoption process, including (1) evaluating the suitability of homes and families that wish to adopt children; (2) assessing the developmental, social, cognitive, and cultural needs of children available for adoption in order to match them with an appropriate adoptive home; (3) working with birth families to determine their capacities to continue to parent and to be involved in their children’s lives and/or to potentially deal with termination of parental rights; (4) helping with placement transitions; and (5) providing for post-adoption services to ensure lasting and strong adoptive families. Adoption can be an option for children from birth to older teens, for children with a range of special medical, developmental, and educational needs, and for sibling groups. Adoption research also addresses special issues related to adoptions occurring across state or international boundaries, surrogacy and adoption, and openness in adoption. Open communication is of utmost importance when working in adoption because it reduces false expectations and produces more successful outcomes.


Provides information for expectant parents, birth parents and relatives on adoption planning, finding an adoption agency or lawyer, adoption laws, maintaining connections with children who are adopted, and the emotional impact of adoption.

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In the United States, in the "melting pot," "tossed salad" or "stew" of racial and cultural existence, the status of race relations can be viewed through the lenses focused on the judicial system and on the educational system, but neither invokes the truest core of prevailing sensitivities like the debate and politics surrounding transracial adoption. In the forefront of the issue is the age-old dynamic between the African American community and the Caucasian community. Both are standing on their respective and traditional foundations of entitlement.

This research study examined the experiences of birthparents, permanent parents, and mediators in permanency mediation following a state child welfare agency’s recommendation for termination of parental rights. Permanency mediation provides participants with the opportunity to collaborate in an agreement that entails a voluntary surrender of parental rights by the birthparents and the placement of children with permanent parents in open adoption or guardianship. Findings suggested that permanency mediation has the potential to be a successful practice. Participants, however, need additional support during and after mediation to help them understand open adoption and deal with the changes in family structures and boundaries, address their own feelings and concerns, and establish reliable means of communication with each there.

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This paper investigates whether adoptees are more prone to problems than their nonadopted peers. To illuminate this question, another known higher problem risk-group was included: children living with one biological parent. Based on data collected from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, adoptees living in two-parent families (N=369) were contrasted with children living in two-parent biologic families (N=9,676) and with children living with one biological parent in step- or single-parent families (N=7,457). As expected, adolescents living in step- and single-parent families showed far more adjustment difficulties than the other two subgroups. Adoptees showed behavior patterns much like those raised in two-parent biological families, except for three differences: they were more likely to run away from home, to get counseling help, and to show less desire to attend college. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Thesis statement: Adoption should be stressed as an ...

Comparing adolescents in diverging family structures: Investigating whether adoptees are more prone to problems than their nonadopted peers.
Feigelman, W. (2001). Adoption Quarterly, 5(2), 5-37.

Thesis statement: Adoption should be stressed as an alternative ...

Studies done in 1982 and 1984 highlighted the adjustment and self-perception of transracially adopted children in what appears to give credence to the concerns raised by the Black Social Worker’s Association. These studies included thirty white families residing in three geographical areas of the United States: the Midwest, Upper-Midwest, and Southeast. The families all had adopted children under the age of ten, and all adoptions had been finalized. The children ranged in age from ten years to seventeen. The mean age was thirteen and the mean grade was 8.1. The majority of the black children were under three years of age at the time of placement.

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