The Donaldson Adoption Institute Recommends Sweeping Adoption Reform

In December 2016, The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) published a thought-provoking report titled "Let's Adopt Reform Report 2016: Adoption in America Today." The DAI describes the five key themes of the report as follows:

  • Adoption Is Not a One-Time Transaction
    It’s a lifelong journey for the entire family. In order to encourage healthy identity development and strong relationships, it is important to understand adoption as a transformational experience that lasts a lifetime.
  • A Human Rights Framework Is Needed
    Adoption is in urgent need of a cultural shift; this shift requires us first and foremost to make decisions in adoption through the lens of human rights and to practice adoption in a way that primarily and fundamentally respects and upholds the humanity of all who are connected to this rich and complex experience.
  • Market Forces Create a Variety of Concerns
    It is critical to develop uniform standards and regulations in order to remove the influence of money as it relates to the practice of adoption. Children are not commodities.
  • Adoption in America Lacks Uniformity
    Adoption policies and practices vary widely by state and type of adoption. The consequence of these inconsistencies can lead to fraud, coercion, and undue stress of families and ultimately leaves children vulnerable.
  • No Reform Without Education
    One of the greatest impediments to meaningful reforms in adoption and foster care are the societal misperceptions and general lack of knowledge surrounding this experience. We must foster understanding in society as well as the systems that serve families if needed changes are to be made.

If you would like to access the report in its entirety, please click here.

Please note that the thoughts and opinions expressed in the DAI's report are those of the DAI, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Anderson Ballard LLC.