Nobody's Children by Elizabeth Bartholet
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Nobody's Children
By Elizabeth Bartholet

Nobody's Children

Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift and the Adoption Alternative

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Format: Paperback

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Nobody's Children by Elizabeth Bartholet

Book Description

"An extraordinary book. Chilling, inspiring, and utterly convincing, it creates an ironclad case for the adoption solution." -Sylvia Ann Hewlett, coauthor of The War Against Parents "Bartholet sounds the alarm on the savage consequences the child welfare system has on so many children and challenges us to confront the reality that substance abuse . . . is the culprit in most cases of child abuse and neglect. Everyone who cares about our nation's most vulnerable children should read this book." -Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University "Blood and race remain the over-riding factors in determining the future of suffering children. This should be required reading for those who look on adoption as the last resort." -Mary McGrory, Washington Post columnist "Bartholet is a passionate crusader on behalf of children, and brings to her subject vigorous, clear-headed prose and the moral authority of her professional dedication." -Ann-Janine Morey, Chicago Tribune "Bartholet issues a strong challenge to the child welfare system to facilitate adoption of children who have been abused and neglected.All people concerned about the healthy development of children should read Nobody's Children. I highly recommend it." -Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School "The way we treat abused and neglected children in this country remains a national scandal. Bartholet challenges the priority placed . . . on keeping battered or neglected children with their families or racial group, and makes a strong case for increased use of adoption." -Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum (ret.), author of the Multiethnic Placement Act "A disturbing look at how the lives of 'America's modern-day orphans' are sacrificed for the often unrealistic goal of keeping troubled families together. . . . The author makes her case intelligently, fearlessly, and exhaustively." -Kirkus Reviews 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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780807023198
ISBN-10: 0807023191
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 140mm x 20mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Beacon Press
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publish Date: 9-Nov-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A disturbing look at how the lives of "America's modern-day orphans" are sacrificed for the often unrealistic goal of keeping troubled families together. Bartholet (Family Bonds: Adoption and the Politics of Parenting, 1993), an expert on family law and an adoptive mother herself, traces the historical, political, and cultural reasons why battered and neglected children are far more likely to spend years in "foster limbo," or be sent back to abusive homes, than to be adopted by loving families. The author charges that despite recent legislation that bars race as a factor, everyone from private foundation administrators to judges, lawyers, and bureaucrats continues to be guided by the notion that children should be cared for by relatives, or adopted by families who look like them. Back in 1972, the National Association of Black Social Workers denounced transracial adoption as a form of "racial genocide." Though "race-matching policies have gone underground" since then, Bartholet believes they resurface in criteria like "kinship" and "cultural competence." Because other relatives may not be up to the task of parenting, and because there are not enough minority families to adopt all the children who need them, the author asserts that race-matching essentially condemns many youngsters to lasting physical, cognitive, and emotional damage. Whereas wife beaters are treated like criminals, child abusers, often plagued by poverty and substance abuse, tend to be seen as victims themselves. Bartholet expresses sympathy for their plight but demands that social workers stop using precious child-welfare resources to prop up deeply disturbed families. "What matters," she insists, "is that the children get into homes where they can thrive." She also suggests, somewhat unrealistically, that the state could take a proactive role in reducing child abuse by instituting "universal visitation" of all families before and after birth. The author makes her case intelligently, fearlessly, and exhaustively. Curiously, since her subject matter is so wrenching, Bartholet's writing lacks emotional power. Nobody's Children ultimately appeals not to the heart, but to the head. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Elizabeth Bartholet

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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