the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth held a forum on Capitol Hill
regarding adoption disruption. Co-chairs Senators Charles Grassley
(R-IA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) opened the forum with thanks to the
former foster youth on the panel and in the audience who came to share
their stories about overcoming difficult challenges.
called on more scrutiny of adoption disruptions to determine what
policy changes are needed. Landrieu spoke about the many difficulties
facing youth as they age out of foster care and who are adopted.
There were a number of youth at the forum who are participating in the Foster Youth Internshipprogram
through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Many of
these youth spoke of their experiences with adoption. In addition Dr.
Richard Barth, Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of
Maryland presented data and research from his work on this issue. He
highlighted the lack of any recent research on adoption disruptions and
made the point that none of the existing longitudinal studies including
the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being, the National
Survey of Family Growth, and the National Survey of Adoptive Parents,
will tell us much about adoption disruption. A
number of recommendations were made to reform and improve federal
policy including providing more support for post adoption services and
more funding for research into best practices.