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Law and Society

Boston College Law School

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Adoption Laws And Practices In 2000: Serving Whose Interests?, Ruth-Arlene W. Howe Jan 2000

Adoption Laws And Practices In 2000: Serving Whose Interests?, Ruth-Arlene W. Howe

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

After enactment of the first modern state adoption statute in 1851, adoption in the United States evolved as both a state judicial process and a specialized child welfare service to promote the best interest of children in need of permanent homes. This essay reviews developments during the last quarter of the century that force us to ask whether U.S. adoption is meeting the needs of children, its original child welfare intent, or serving the interests of adults.