Adoption practice in the U.S. must change.
The thousands of adoptees searching for their birth families, here on the Internet and
elsewhere, cannot all be wrong. Open records are one of the many changes needed.
This bumper sticker was
designed by Alicia Lanier and members of TxCARE, the Texas Coalition for Adoption Resources
and Education. We founded TxCARE in 1996 to work toward reforming adoption laws in Texas.
There are many issues to address in our laws here in Texas. Any money raised from these bumper
stickers will go to this work. See the TxCARE Web pages at http://www.txcare.org
where you may order this bumper sticker, or get one with your membership.
At the TxCARE web pages we will continue to keep you
up to date on adoption legislation in Texas. That page will have the meeting schedules for
TxCARE in the major cities of Texas. Join TxCARE to keep the momentum going!
The major source for information on the progress of open records legislation in the US is the web
sight of the American Adoption
Congress. This is a powerful location supporting respect and dignity in
the adoption process.
The valuable work of Concerned United Birth Parents
will certainly help in adoption reform. The voices of birth parents are
absolutely necessary for reform. A great example is Heather Lowe's
"What you should KNOW if
you're considering adoption for your baby", now in a CUB booklet in
.pdf form (362Kb). It is strongly recommended that anyone considering adoption
study such document before doing anything, and that all legislators study this
form to help them understand the issues of adoption. Our children will be the
winners with such investments of our time.
Adoption Agency Reform
There are many wonderful adoption agencies in the US. All of the best are also
members of the Child Welfare League of America (www.cwla.org)
and, consistent with CWLA Adoption Standards, are strong advocates for fully
open adoption in all situations unless documented criminal violence makes that
impossible, or demand modifications to a fully open adoption. Fortunately such
situations are rare.
Consistent with the Statement of Beliefs on
open adoption from the Traverse City Open Adoption Conferences, adoption
agencies must evolve into a more transparent form of operation. Detailed
financial statements should be freely available to families planning adoption so
they may be more comfortable with the fees changed. Exact placement statistics
for the preceding years should be available. In the ideal, someday all
this information may be available online at a central web site for all potential
adopting family and birth families to study. A trusted and reliable entity, such
as the Child Welfare League of America, or the
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC)
would be a logical location for such valuable national archives. Such an archive
would demonstrate our Nations dedication to vigilance in the care of our
While families and children certainly have a right to confidentiality, agencies
entrusted with the placement of children have no such right. Our children are
our most precious resource as a society. We cannot be too cautious in making
certain that their care is never entrusted to an entity that is less than open
and honorable about their operation and intentions. Children must remain
as the primary clients. We must be vigilant.
Bill Betzen, LMSW