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Marsha Traugot

The Children Who Wait is an essay written by Marsha Traugot. In this essay, she suggests reasons for a new trend in adoption in America. Now a wider verity of families can open their house to children who in the past would have been labeled unadaptable.

In the beginning of her essay she quotes an advertisement related to an example of a 51/2 years old black homeless girl named Tammy who is suffering from fatal alcohol syndrome which can stop her intellectual growth at any time. She is a handicapped black girl and she is beyond infancy. After giving her description Traugot carries out the history about adoption. Twenty years ago or until about 1960 the process of adoption was strict. If a child was not white that would not adopted. Adoption was done only of the child that was infant and healthy. A family having older siblings could not also take a child in adoption. Similarly, only middle or upper class childless white couples could adopt healthy white infants.

But in the last 20 years the field of adoption has undergone radical change because of various civil rights movement, birth control, changing moral and social science researches. The numbers of healthy infants available for adoption have reduced due to birth control, legalized abortion, changes in attitudes towards sexual behavior and marriage. Unwed mothers and teenagers could keep their babies with them without insult. Then there was scarcity of the healthy children people turned their attention to other children.

Child welfare specialists became increasingly concerned about other handicapped children. Black civil rights movement encouraged interracial adoption. So the number of children in foster care dramatically increased. It created disastrous results to the children sent in foster care. So the focus of the system was changed and the social workers started finding the ideal adoptive family. In the present time, the social workers also try to match the children with adoptive family. They evaluate the characteristics of the child and search a suitable (appropriate) family.

The essayist also says that in seeking to match child and family, the social worker must overcome his/her own attitudinal barriers. In the present time there are many adoption agencies that find the potential adoptive parents. To find the possible adoptive parents, the social workers first look to their lists. They give detailed information about the children to the regional exchange offices. They organize meetings and parties for children and possible parents to meet informally. If they still can’t find adopters by personal contact, they advertise on T.V. and publish the child’s profile in the newspapers. Thus, the child welfare specialists and the social workers can do a lot for the children who wait for adoption. This technique has helped much to provide homes to the children who wait. 

Because of the changes in attitudes in different aspects as well as in the field of adoption many children have got the supportive families and writer also hopes that Tammy will also get a warm supportive family life in the near future.


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