Intercountry Adoption

Policies, Practices, and Outcomes

Intercountry Adoption LOOK INSIDE
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  • Edited by Judith L. Gibbons, Saint Louis University, USA and Karen Smith Rotabi, United Arab Emirates University, UAE
  • Series: Contemporary Social Work Studies
  • Intercountry adoption represents a significant component of international migration; in recent years, up to 45,000 children have crossed borders annually as part of the intercountry adoption boom. Proponents have touted intercountry adoption as a natural intervention for promoting child welfare. However, in cases of fraud and economic incentives, intercountry adoption has been denounced as child trafficking. The debate on intercountry adoption has been framed in terms of three perspectives: proponents who advocate intercountry adoption, abolitionists who argue for its elimination, and pragmatists who look for ways to improve both the conditions in sending countries and the procedures for intercountry transfer of children.

    Social workers play critical roles in intercountry adoption; they are often involved in family support services or child relinquishment in sending countries, and in evaluating potential adoptive homes, processing applications, and providing support for adoptive families in receiving countries; social workers are involved as brokers and policy makers with regard to the processes, procedures, and regulations that govern intercountry adoption. Their voice is essential in shaping practical and ethical policies of the future.

    Containing 25 chapters covering the following five areas: policy and regulations; sending country perspectives; outcomes for intercountry adoptees; debate between a proponent and an abolitionist; and pragmatists' guides for improving intercountry adoption practices, this book will be essential reading for social work practitioners and academics involved with intercountry adoption.
  • Contents: Foreword; Introduction, Judith L. Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi; Part I Policy and Regulations: The rise and fall of intercountry adoption in the 21st century: global trends from 2001 to 2010, Peter Selman; Social policy approaches and social work dilemmas in intercountry adoption, Jonathan Dickens; Implications of the Hague Convention on the humanitarian evacuation and 'rescue' of children, Kathleen Ja Sook Bergquist; Human rights considerations in intercountry adoption: the children and families of Cambodia and Marshall Islands, Jini L. Roby and Trish Maskew; Fraud in intercountry adoption: child sales and abduction in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Guatemala, Karen Smith Rotabi; Perspectives on child welfare: ways of understanding roles and actions of current USA adoption agencies involved in intercountry adoptions, Mary Katherine O'Connor and Karen Smith Rotabi. Part II Sending Country Perspectives: Child welfare in Romania: contexts and processes, Cristina Nedelcu and Victor Groza; Challenging the discourse of intercountry adoption: perspectives from rural China, Kay Johnson; Intercountry adoption and child welfare in Guatemala: lessons learned from pre- and post- ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention on the protection of children and cooperation in respect of intercountry adoption, Kelley McCreery Bunkers and Victor Groza; Ethiopia at a critical juncture in intercountry adoption and traditional care practices, Kelley McCreery Bunkers, Karen Smith Rotabi and Benyam Dawit Mezmur; Maternal thinking in the context of stratified reproduction: perspectives of birth mothers from South Africa, Riitta Högbacka; Exiting or going forth? An overview of US outgoing adoptions, Dana Naughton. Part III Outcomes for Intercountry Adoptees: Review of meta-analytical studies on the physical, emotional, and cognitive outcomes in intercountry adoptees, Femmie Juffer and Marinus H. van IJzendoorn; Medical status of internationally adopted children, Laurie C. Miller; Cognitive competence, academic achievement, and educational attainment among intercountry adoptees: research outcomes from the Nordic countries, Monica Dalen; Families with intercountry adopted children: talking about adoption and birth culture, Femmie Juffer and Wendy Tieman; Post-racial utopianism, white color-blindness and 'the elephant in the room': racial issues for transnational adoptees of color, Tobias Hübinette. Part IV The Debate: The debate, Elizabeth Bartholet and David Smolin. Part V Pragmatists: Improving the Process: Best practices in implementing the Hague Convention, Judith L. Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi; Intercountry adoptions and home study assessments: the need for uniform practices, Thomas M. Crea; Understanding and preventing intercountry adoption breakdown, Jesús Palacios; Openness and intercountry adoption in New Zealand, Rhoda Scherman; All grown up: the rise of the Korean adult adoptee movement and implications for practice, Hollee McGinnis; Truth, reconciliation, and searching for the disappeared children of civil war: El Salvador's search and reunion model defined, Carmen Mónico and Karen Smith Rotabi; Looking to the future, Judith L. Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi; References; Indexes.
  • About the Editor: Judith L. Gibbons is Professor of Psychology, Saint Louis University, USA. Karen Smith Rotabi is Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.
  • Reviews: Winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award for 2013

    'Gibbons and Rotabi have assembled a star-studded cast of scholars from demography, psychology, law, education, cultural studies, and social work to present new knowledge and critical viewpoints on the international adoption of children… This superb collection of essays is required reading for adoption scholars, social workers, policy makers, governments, and members of the adoption triad. Summing up: Essential. Upper-division graduates and above.'

    'I love the breadth of information and perspective in Intercountry Adoption. It fills a gap in knowledge about a very important part of our world; it's a genuinely important book.'
    Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute; author of Adoption Nation

    'Drs. Gibbons and Rotabi have assembled an impressive collection of international (and inter-disciplinary) scholars to provide a comprehensive text on the practices and policies of international adoption. This book explores the myriad ethical, legal, and social layers of adoption from diverse perspectives to encourage increased dialogue regarding the global policies that support children in need of care. A must-read!'
    Samantha L. Wilson, Medical College of Wisconsin, USA

    'This is an amazing "must read" book covering a multitude of issues and perspectives associated with intercountry adoptions. Contributing authors discuss intercountry adoption policies and regulations, outcomes for adopters, perspectives from sending countries, and strategies for improving adoption practices. Social work practitioners, researchers, adoption advocates, members of the adoption triad, as well as policy makers all will benefit from this volume.'
    Ruth G. McRoy, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, USA

    'Cogently edited by Judith L. Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi, Intercountry Adoption is not only a timely and stimulating contribution to this potent atmosphere but also a collection of texts that in an overall perspective attempts to move beyond the dichotomy of antagonistic views by addressing some genuinely worrying aspects of ICA, as well as offering practical, concrete suggestions regarding its future role in the global world… Intercountry Adoption brings together some of the world’s leading adoption scholars and researchers in a joint effort to shed light on the current status of ICA and thus provide a more nuanced and elaborate dimension to the ongoing debate. The ambitious, interdisciplinary range of topics, academic fields, geographical perspectives, and historical material is undoubtedly the book’s major strength… the book as a whole leaves the reader with a sense of the larger global implications of ICA - a sense of connectedness that not only makes it legitimate to talk about a vast number of different dynamics and problematics under the singular heading “intercountry adoption” but also makes it clear that in order to understand the real challenges involved in ICA, we need a perspective that is broad enough to apprehend the network of affiliations, alliances, and relations that traverse and intersect disciplines, countries, histories, families, and bodies. Intercountry Adoption is a meaningful and valuable step in that direction.'
    International Journal of Social Welfare

    'This is a timely and relevant volume, not only for social workers but also for a range of other adoption professionals and scholars, including psychologists and other mental health professionals… This book would be especially useful for social workers working directly with adopted children and families. The range of topics covered - from policy and regulations to the different perspectives of “sending countries” - is exceedingly helpful to remind the practitioner that international adoption is not standardized. We particularly like how this volume covers the differences from diverse countries of origin, including “rural” China, Ethiopia, and South Africa. In addition, students new to intercountry adoption will be well served by the section about the medically relevant outcomes of adoption… One strength of the collection is that it covers the areas of policy, globalization, and outcomes, allowing the reader to examine the ways in which these issues are tightly interrelated and affect one another… This collection brings these vast areas of expertise together and is a step in the right direction toward the creation of holistic intercountry adoptive care that operates from a biopsychosocial perspective, taking into account adoption policy, international relations, and postadoption outcomes with a view to continually improving the process of intercountry adoption… this collection is an excellent start to a collaborative focus on intercountry adoption. An experienced or new student to the world of intercountry adoption will be reminded or introduced to the complexity and diverse range of issues facing practitioners and families in intercountry adoption. This volume provides a variety of perspectives and understandings for working with international adoptive families and children.'