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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

January 2012 Archives

Adoptions in 2007 and 2008

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cover_AJ-0023A_page_1.pngThe Child Welfare Information Gateway has published a report on the number of children adopted in 2007 and 2008. For those who study adoption, this is an important update, as the last major report by the Children's Bureau looked at the numbers of children adopted in 2000-2001.

According to the report: There is no single source for the total number of children adopted in the United States, and no straightforward way to determine the total number of adoptions, even when multiple data sources are used. This report gives best estimates of the numbers of children adopted in each of the States for 2007 and 2008 from state courts, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), and the U.S. Department of State.

Some of the findings from the report:


  • About 40% of the adoptions that occur are from public child welfare agencies (i.e. foster care adoption)

  • About 13-14% of adoptions are international adoptions

  • About 46-47% of adoptions are from private agencies.

The report is downloadable here or you can visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway page to see the table of contents or to dowload specific chapters of the report.

Over the past few days, several articles have reported this story about an Indian family living in Norway whose children were placed in foster care, sparking accusations of racial and cultural prejudice.

According to The Telegraph article that was published today, Norway has accused the parents of over-feeding their children and allowing them to co-sleep. Norweigan social workers also claim the children's mother suffers from depression,

BBAW4Y_2118435b.jpg[Photo by Alamy]

According to the children's grandparents, the allegations that led to the removal of the children are culturally-accepted ways of child-rearing in their culture, where it is common practice for mothers to "push food into their toddler's mouths" and where "children often sleep in their parents' bed until they are six or seven."

In The Telegraph, the head of the Child Welfare Services is quoted as saying, "I most strongly deny that this case in any way is based on cultural prejudice or misinterpretation. I am unable to give any comments regarding the particular grounds in this case because of our duty of confidentiality."

According to the article, Norwegian officials have determined the children will remain in foster care in Norway until they are 18 years old. The family is pushing for the children to be cared for by their grandparents, but according to the article, Indian officials are getting involved.

Read the article in full here.

Another article on this story: Reunite Indian Kids with Parents, Delhi Urges Oslo

Weekly news round-up

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Each Friday on the Stability, Permanency and Adoption blog we will provide a selection of news from the past week that you may have missed.

Today's news round up:

In Ontario, Canada, working parents who participate in foster-to adopt programs can participate in parental leave benefits. The Star online reports that even if the child is reunified with birth parents, the foster parent can receive parental leave benefits if they were willing to adopt the chils had reunification not been successful. In the past, foster-to-adopt families were only eligible to request parental leave benefits after they began the adoption process. To read the article, click here.


Children in New Jersey's foster care system will benefit from improved services as a result of a Silbermann Foundation grant awarded to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) School of Nursing. From the article: "We are very excited to branch out into the field of child welfare nursing. It is our great hope that the curriculum developed at the UMDNJ-School of Nursing will attract qualified nurses to this important subspecialty. It is also our aspiration that this curriculum becomes the national standard in teaching and attracting nurses to this extremely important field," said M. Steven Silbermann, spokesperson for the Rosanne H. Silbermann Foundation, a non-profit charitable family foundation established by the late Rosanne H. Silbermann in 1998 that supports medical, educational and religious organizations." To read more click here.

Writer Dr. Suzanne Babbel, PhD., has written part two of a series, The Foster Care System and Its Victims. In Part I, Dr. Babbel describes what happens when a child is reported to have been abused. In Part II, Dr. Babbel describes how foster care can harm more than help an already vulnerable child. Both articles are available on the Psychology Today website.

In The Huffington Post, Kelly Kennedy writes about how several states are changing the way they consider recruiting foster parents. From the article, "Most jurisdictions end up being in a reactive mode because they don't have enough fosters parents so they're just focused on getting people into the fold instead of making sure standards for parents are elevated," said David Sanders, an executive vice president at Casey Family Programs, an advocacy organization in Seattle." The new focus is on recruiting foster parents that consider their job "parenting," such as Maritza Moreno who told the Huffington Post, who says a parent wouldn't rely on having the county worker take the foster child to doctor's appointments. Morento says foster children "really need a parent, not a caregiver." To read the whole article, click here.

Law scholar critiques current child welfare narrative

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Last week, Matthew Fraidin, Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, wrote an essay titled, Changing the Narrative of Child Welfare for the Huffington Post. In the article, Fraidin critiques the current system that harms more than helps children by unnecessarily removing many of them from their parents' homes because of factors related to poverty, not abuse.

Fraidin writes, "...more than 70% of the children in foster care are there because of allegations that they were neglected, not abused. And neglect -- lack of food, clothing, shelter, supervision, or other necessities of life -- is poverty by another name."

Rather than punishing parents because of their poverty, Fraidin suggests improving anti-poverty programs, encourage clients to advocate for themselves and to look for ways to build on families strengths instead of focusing only on their problems.

Read the article and let us know your thoughts!

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