Golden Gate University Law Review
The Best Interest of the Child: Eliminating Discrimination in the Screening of Adoptive Parents
This comment will propose eliminating race and all factors that would be discriminatory in any other area of the law from consideration in adoption placement decisions, focusing instead on assessments of the parenting skills of individual prospective adoptive parents, and giving preference to foster parents or others who are already providing care to the child. Part II will discuss the historical precedents of today's adoption laws and show how the misperception of the adoptive family as inferior to the biological family helped to shape the current law. Part III will describe the process of adopting a child to demonstrate that adoption agencies need not look to factors such as the age, race, or marital status of parents. Part IV will show how the current adoption screening system violates constitutionally protected family rights. Part V rejects practices of adoptions based on improper factors. Part VI examines recent legislation in three states which make strides toward achieving these goals. Part VII will recommend that states change their adoption laws to forbid courts and adoption agencies from considering discriminatory factors in placement decisions, and to offer a remedy for violations of these standards. This part will also recommend giving a preference to prospective adoptive parents who are already caring for the child.
Jehnna Irene Hanan,
The Best Interest of the Child: Eliminating Discrimination in the Screening of Adoptive Parents, 27 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.