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Permanency Is Not Enough: Children Need the Nurturing Parents Found in International Adoption

Elizabeth Bartholet

Harvard Law School

May 18, 2011

New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 55, 2010/11

Permanency in the form that truly serves children’s best interests will often be found only in international adoption. Permanency in dysfunctional birth families, or in institutions or typical foster care, does not provide the nurturing parenting children require. This article focuses on the strategic thinking needed to advance international adoption as a solution for more of the world’s unparented children. It urges that we who believe in such adoption recognize the crisis today, but at the same time maintain belief in the future. International adoption is consistent with many important globalization trends – international trade and commerce, emigration and immigration, intermarriage between people from different racial, ethnic, and national groups. The article urges further that the relatively small and fragile group of adoption advocates work together, and reach out to new groups, including church organizations committed to the importance of providing true families for children. But at the same time it urges that they not compromise on principles key to child well-being, but fight for children’s right to international adoptive homes and their related right to early, permanent, and nurturing parenting, and reject the false romanticism surrounding birth and national heritage.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: child welfare, international adoption

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Date posted: May 24, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Bartholet, Elizabeth, Permanency Is Not Enough: Children Need the Nurturing Parents Found in International Adoption (May 18, 2011). New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 55, 2010/11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1845969

Contact Information

Elizabeth Bartholet (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
Hauser Hall 422
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 495-3128 (Phone)
(617) 496-4947 (Fax)

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