Writer : Marsha Taugot
Marsha Traugot wrote the essay “The Children who wait”, in the prevalent trend of child adoption in few decade in America context. Marsha Traugot suggests reasons for a new trend in adoption. Now a wider variety of Families can open their homes to children who in the past would have been leveled unadoptable. In setting forth the causes for this phenomenon, Traugot draws from specific case histories.
The writer begins her essay with an example of a 51/2 years old black homeless girl named Tammy who is suffering from fatal alcohol syndrome which can stop her intellectual growth at any time. By this, Traugot wants to prove that she is not dealing with fiction but a specific case study. In the past, especially before 1960, the black, disabled, handicapped and sick children were unadoptable. Tammy has recently been legally freed for adoption which shows the changes that have taken place in the American adoption scene. Before 1960, only healthy white infants could be adopted. But now, the American adoption scene has been completely changed due to different civil rights movements, birth control, changing social values and social science research. Because of civil rights movements, the attitudes of American people towards Negro children changed. Due to birth control and legalized abortion, fewer unwanted babies were born. Even the unmarried women could keep their babies with them because of the changing social values. As a result, healthy babies were hardly available for adoption and people turned their attention to other children like Tammy.
Due of massive growth of population, the number of homeless children is in the increasing trend. Between 1960 and 1978, the number of children in the foster home reached nearly half a million. Many states have no idea about the number of children who lived with their biological parents, who lived in foster homes and those children who could be adopted. If such children were left in the foster homes more than 18 months, they would suffer from different kinds of illnesses and social crimes. It would make their life more troublesome, complicated and worse. The politicians also wouldn’t invest any fund to begin new programs for such children as the children have no rights to vote. So, the homeless children were neglected and uncared. According to the child care specialists, the cost of keeping an average child in foster home was. $3,600 to $24,000. This shows that the foster home was expensive and cruel. The writer suggests that the social workers should change their attitudes. They should accept even disabled children for adoption. They should open child care centers and hold meetings.
Now, the social workers write down the characteristics of the child and the profile of a suitable family, and then they try to match. To find the possible adoptive parents, the social workers first look to their lists. They give detailed information about the children to the regional exchange offices. They organize meetings and parties for children and possible parents to meet informally. If they still can’t find adopters by personal contact, they advertise on T.V. and publish the child’s profile in the newspapers. Thus, the child welfare specialists and the social workers can do a lot for the children who wait for adoption.
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