Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interstate Adoptions: Harder Than They Should Be?

From ABC News:
Fewer children would be stuck in foster care if state authorities reduced red tape and standardized procedures nationwide to encourage more adoptions by out-of-state families, according to a coalition of child welfare experts appealing for change.

"Children wait in foster care not because there aren't enough families to adopt them, but because of artificial barriers we erect," said Jeff Katz, executive director of Listening to Parents, a Boston-based group that organized the initiative.

The coalition — representing several of the nation's leading adoption advocacy groups — issued a report Tuesday detailing some of these barriers and proposing steps to overcome them.

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The report cites federal data showing that there were only 4,600 interstate adoptions out of 690,000 children adopted from foster care between 1998 and 2009. In the 2010 fiscal year, according to Katz, there were 527 interstate adoptions out of about 53,000 total adoptions from foster care.

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The issue of interstate adoption arose last year in Florida in the case of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona. She was adopted in 2009 by her foster parents, Jorge and Carmen Barahona of Miami, and they have been charged with killing her in February 2011.

The adoption by the Barahonas was approved despite strenuous objections from Nubia's aunt and uncle in Texas, Isidro and Ana Reyes, who tried for years to adopt Nubia and her brother themselves — saying the children would be better off with blood relatives who loved them.

The case fueled criticism that interstate adoptions are often needlessly hampered by bureaucratic hurdles.


ROBYN Chittister said...

Pretty much all of the foster/adopt parents I've known have stated that adopting through foster care out of one's own state (sometimes out of one's own county) is extremely difficult. The US does need a national adoption system, where home studies are nationally accepted, standards are set at the national level, etc. I do think it would increase the likelihood of any adoption being ethical.
I understand that sometimes, there are birth family members with whom to maintain contact, but biological families do that across state lines, so can adoptive families.

-J.Darling said...

Even foster care IN somes tates is unreasonably difficult. My best friend was looking to foster 0-2 yr olds, in the hopes of adopting in AZ. She is a single EMT, and works a few 24hr shifts/month. She had her family all set up to watch the children during her overnight, but because her mother's and sister's houses aren't "certified" so they can't watch the kids at their houses. They'd have to come over and sleep at her house... Her sister has her own kids, and her parents have already gone through nearly everything, but since they live a certain distance from her house, they can't get certified. So case in point - a ready, willing situation to help EVEN SPECIAL NEEDS infants is being shot down because the babysitting issues. The funny thing is - when you add up the hours she's working and the hours a 9-5 employee works in a month, she actually is home MORE than a full time employed office individual. Fries me!