ETHICS AND ADOPTION
CHALLENGES FOR TODAY AND THE FUTURE
November 3-5, 1999 Anaheim, California
TOPIC AREAS FOR THE
1999 ETHICS CONFERENCE
Adoption and Autonomy:
Issues for Adopted Persons, Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents
This topic area examines the ability each member of the adoption triad to determine his or her own life course. For the adopted person, autonomy relates to the ability of the individual to develop a personal identity and includes a consideration of factors bearing on the development of a sense of self, including perceptions of adoption, the role of openness in adoption, and the nature of the adoption experience. For the birth parent, autonomy raises issues related to the ways in which law and practice support personal integrity, providing birth parents with respect, information and understanding of the impact of adoption on their lives. For prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents and adoptive families, autonomy raises issues related to achieving parenthood, the extent to which adoptive parents are perceived as real parents, and authenticity of the adoptive family.
The Role of Ethnicity in Adoption
This topic area considers the effect of ethnicity (defined as race, culture, and national origin) on an individuals adoption experience and on adoption service systems. This area considers research and practice based knowledge that addresses issues related to personal and group identity and focuses on the relationship between ethnicity and identity. The role of ethnicity in different service systems -- foster care and adoption, international adoption and infant adoption -- is a key consideration. Of particular concern are issues that are common to all three areas of adoption, including the role of ethnicity in decisions to place a child for adoption and the nature of ethnic identity for adopted children and adults.
The Market Forces in Adoption
This topic area considers various forces related to the business of adoption, including issues bearing on policy and practice. Market forces include the demographics of infant adoption, international adoption, and special needs adoption; the role of money in adoption; issues of power in adoption; and accountability on the part of adoption professionals. Questions related to the market forces of adoption include: How is the adoption process regulated and by whom? How are birth and adoptive parents affected by differences in resources? Is the concept of accountability applied in adoption, and if so, how? Do market forces undermine ethical adoption practices?
Adoption and Reproductive Technology
This topic area raises the question of whether reproductive technologies (including sperm donation, egg donation, and embryo implantation), which may or may not provide a child genetically connected to one or both parents, create a situation that is analogous to adoption. Should the knowledge that has been acquired in the field of adoption be applied in the area of reproductive technologies? Are issues in adoption -- such as identity, access to background information, and search - equally applicable in the context of reproductive technology? Should any or all adoption practice standards apply in reproductive technologies?
ETHICS AND ADOPTION CONFERENCE
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