The Children Who Wait

Summary

In this essay ” The children who wait” Marsha Traugot has discussed some changes in the American adoption scene. She has also suggested some factors responsible for the change. She says that few decades years ago there were large number of children who were considered unadoptable.

In the past the family that wanted to adopt children used to look for only healthy, while not overgrown children for adoption. But now many varieties of families are opening home even for black’ physically handicapped and mentally retarded children who were considered unadoptable in the past.

She has started the essay with a newspaper description of a five years old black girl Tammy, the girl has a charming look but suffers from a fatal alcoholic syndrome, a diseases caused due to alcoholic consumption of her mother during pregnancy. In the past she would have been rejected by adoptive families but at present she even has a good chance of finding a matching family.

There are various factors that have brought charges in the field of adoption scene. For example, the “Black Civil rights Movement” encouraged cross racial and inter racial adoption practice. The women’s movement, the easily availability of the means of birth control and contraceptives. legalized abortion practice, changes in the attitude towards sexual behaviour before marriage, etc, greatly reduced the number of healthy, so called, adoptable children. Even the unmarried mothers preferred to keep babies. So due to various civil rights movements, birth control, changing social values, social sciences research resulted in the scarcity of adoptable children. Even then a lot of children wait at the foster home to be adopted.

Child welfare specialists are much worried about the children who are waiting. The foster care has become very expensive. Also it is cruel as some of the children would develop mental and physical disabilities due to lack of proper love and care. So the system has changed now. The social workers do not look only for middle-class, home-owning two parent, one career families for the children. Now they look for families that are suitable for children of different needs. Thus matching has become proper system. At present, the specialist have started giving workshops for placement and also supervision for the adopted children.

These social workers and adoption agencies look for suitable adoptive families. If they can’t find the family, they refer the case to regional or state adoption exchange. They also arrange informal meetings and training for the potential parents. And if, they still cannot find the suitable family, they advertise. So the new trend in the field of adoption has raised the hope of even a child like Tammy for a warm loving and caring family.

Important questions and answers:

1. According to Traugot, what changes are transforming the American adoption scene? What factors are responsible for the changes?

Ans: According to Traugot, the childless white couples adopted only healthy white babies until 1960 in America. They could not adopt unhealthy, handicapped and black children. Even five years old child was inappropriate for them. But, there has been a great chance in the American adoption scene. Now, they begin to adopt unhealthy, handicapped and black and even more than five years old children like Tammy. Such children are adopted legally.

The main factors which are responsible for such changes are the various civil right movements, birth control, legalization of abortion, changing social values, social science research and harsh economic reality. These factors made great changes in attitudes towards sexual behaviors and marriage. As a result, many unwanted and disabled children were born. There was a scarcity of the white and healthy children. Therefore, the childless couples are began to adopt any kind of child.

2. Write a short description about Tammy.

Ans: Tammy is a five years old black girl. She has got a brown eyes, dark, curly hair and a light brown complexion. Her smile is as mysterious as that of Monalisa and she is as attractive as kitten. But she suffers from a fatal alcoholic syndrome, a diseases caused due to alcoholic consumption of her mother during pregnancy. In the past she would have been rejected by adoptive families but at present she even has a good chance of finding a matching family.

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