Nobody's Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative

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Beacon Press, 1999 - Family & Relationships - 304 pages
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Nobody's Children is an intense look at child welfare policies on abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption. Elizabeth Bartholet, one of the nation's leading experts on family law, challenges the accepted orthodoxy that treats children as belonging to their kinship and their racial groups and that locks them into inadequate biological and foster homes. She asks us to apply the lessons learned from the battered women's movement as we look at battered children, and to question why family preservation ideology still reigns supreme when children rather than adult women are involved.

Bartholet asks us to take seriously the adoption option. She calls on the entire community to take responsibility for its children, to think of the children at risk of abuse and neglect as belonging to all of us, and to ensure that "Nobody's Children" become treasured members of somebody's family.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jennorthcoast - LibraryThing

Reading this book, as research for a writing project, has left me aghast and in shock. I never realized that such abuse and neglect of children both in and out of “foster drift” existed. (It is so ... Read full review

Nobody's children: abuse and neglect, foster drift, and the adoption alternative

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The book's jacket calls this an "intense look at child welfare policies on abuse and neglect." Precisely. Bartholet's subject is too weighty for casual reading and cannot be easily digested, but it ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
Kinship and Community
2
The RaceClass Problem
4
Blood Bias and Family Autonomy Politics
7
Two Stories of a Family at Risk for Child Maltreatment
8
New Directions for the Twentyfirst Century?
22
The inherited Tradition Parenting Rights and State Wrongs
33
Family Preservation Policies and Practices
38
Intervening Early with Home Visitation
163
The Promise
165
Some Pitfalls
169
Taking Adoption Seriously
176
Promising Initiatives of the Day
186
Some Pitfalls
192
Radical Revolution or Modest Revionism
203
Substance Abuse
207

The Politics
44
Lessons From the Battered Womens Movement
50
Politics for the Future
54
ModernDay Orphans
59
Underintervention Vs Overintervention
98
Traditional Programs Weather the Storm
113
Race Matching and Related Policies
123
New Programs Promote Traditional Ideas
141
The Traditional Systems Response
208
The Harm to Children
212
Pitfalls and Promise
217
Race Poverty and Historic Injustice
233
Notes
245
Index
293
Acknowledgments
303
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Elizabeth Bartholet is a professor at Harvard Law School. Her first book, Family Bonds: Adoption, Infertility, and the New World of Child Reproduction, was called "brilliant . . . an intelligent and passionate exploration of the legal, racial, and psychological issues" by The New York Times Book Review. The mother of three boys, two of them adopted from Peru, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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