Taking Adoption Seriously: Radical Revolution or Modest Revisionism?

Elizabeth Bartholet

Harvard Law School

November 1999

Harvard Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 010

This article is adapted from the introduction to the author's recent book Nobody's Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift and the Adoption Alternative. It challenges the accepted orthodoxy in the child welfare world that views children as "belonging" in an essential sense to their kinship and their racial groups, and that locks them into inadequate biological and foster homes. It calls for application to abuse and neglect issues, lessons learned from the battered women's movement, and questions why family preservation ideology still reigns supreme when children rather than adult women are involved. It assesses promising new developments in the policy world, and warns of the pitfalls that threaten real progress. It argues that the entire community should take responsibility for all its children, and advocates that we take seriously for the first time in our nation's history the adoption option.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

JEL Classification: K10, K2, K29, K30, K39, K40, K49

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Date posted: June 30, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Bartholet, Elizabeth, Taking Adoption Seriously: Radical Revolution or Modest Revisionism? (November 1999). Capital University Law Review, Vol. 28, No. 1, November 1999 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=233610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.233610

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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