alternative if the child cannot be placed in foster or an adoptive family in

Alternative if the child cannot be placed in foster

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alternative, "if the child cannot be placed in foster or an adoptive family in the child's country of origin" [Art. 21 (b)]. In addition, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(1993, hereinafter "the Hague Convention") requires member nations to give priority to in-country placement (para. 2) before considering international adoption (para. 3). Specific to this article, the question is to what degree African children adopted into the United States would be fostered in their cultural identity, receive acceptance, and enjoy a sense of belonging in their families. Owing to the recency of adopting African children, we were unable to find research data on African adoptees. Hence, we present the next most relevant research: transracial adoption within the United States, specifically white parents adopting African American children, which affords a large body of research data. Some studies show that transracial adoptions may result in negative self-esteem and adjustment outcomes. DeBerry and colleagues (1996) found that as older children, African American adoptees displayed competence in a Eurocentric orientation, with 40 percent to 60 percent showing maladjustment despite their academic competence. Hollingsworth (2002) analyzed 93 media reports of interviews with transracial adoptees age 20 and older and found that 82 percent have had difficulty with ethnic identity development, and 97 percent have encountered racism. Other researchers point to racial identity confusion (McRoy & Grape, 1999) and advocate for policies that encourage same-race placements (McRoy, Oglesby, & Grape, 1997). Others have reported that transracial adoptees overall are comfortable with their racial identity (Simon & Alstein, 1996), and that their parents want them to be proud of their racial background (Simon & Alstein, 2000). Vroegh (1997) found that 88 percent of transracially adopted children consider themselves as black or mixed race. Researchers also found that transracial adoptees have secure ethnoracial identities (Brooks & Barth, 1999), satisfying adoption experiences, and
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normal self-esteem levels (Hoopes, Alexander, Silver, Ober, & Kirby, 1997). Their adjustment is comparable to other adopted children(Feigelman & Silverman, 1984), with 70 percent of placements having satisfactory outcomes (Rushton & Minnis, 1997). Most people in the United States seem to approve of transracial adoption (Hollingsworth, 2000), but the need to educate families about the importance of child's racial identity continues (Vonk, 2001). Children in the U.S. Foster Care System One of the most sensitive aspects of discussing adoption of African children is the number of children in the U.S. child welfare system, especially the disproportionate numbers of African American children (Casey Family Programs, 2004; McRoy, 2003; McRoy et al., 1997). In September 2001 there were 542,000 children in the U.S. foster care system (Adoption and FosterCare Analysis and Reporting System [AFCARS], 2003). Of these, 126,000 children (23 percent) were awaiting adoption (their parents' rights had already been terminated or their permanency
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