Press Release

ADOPTION INSTITUTE CALLS MISSOURI LAW `ONEROUS’ AND `DEVASTATING TO CHILDREN’

MEDIA ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Adam Pertman, Executive Director
apertman@adoptioninstitute.org
617-332-8944 or 617-763-0134

Hollee McGinnis, Policy Director
hmcginnis@adoptioninstitute.org
212-925-4089 or 646-263-9236

NEW YORK, April 11, 2005 – The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute today called on Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri to abandon his support of dramatic reductions in subsidies to foster parents in his state, asserting that “enacting these cuts will be devastating to children in a way that is so onerous and short-sighted that it’s hard to understand how any politician could have voted for them.”

“This is about as callous as lawmakers can get in balancing their fiscal duties against their responsibility to care for boys and girls who need loving homes,” added the Adoption Institute’s Executive Director, Adam Pertman. “We can only hope that Missouri’s leaders will come to their senses and reverse course.”

With the governor’s backing, a measure passed both houses of the Missouri legislature last week and is awaiting his signature. The law would impose an income “means test” on prospective parents who adopt from the child-welfare system, as well as on those who have already adopted children with special needs.

A wide range of legal, foster-care and child-advocacy experts – including the North American Council on Adoptable Children, Children’s Rights Inc., the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, Voice for Adoption and the Youth Law Center – have denounced the Missouri measure. They point out that it likely violates federal law and almost certainly will wind up adding to state taxpayers’ burden (in legal costs for defending the statute in court and in numerous expenses for keeping more children in foster care).

More importantly, the Adoption Institute shares in this bleak analysis by all the aforementioned groups and many others: The enactment of this law will inevitably lead to more problems within and breakups of current adoptive families because of the financial strains it will create; it will prevent many adults from adopting children who need loving homes; and, most heartbreakingly, it will almost certainly increase the number of children in foster care and thereby diminish their prospects of succeeding in life.

The Adoption Institute is the pre-eminent policy, research and education organization in its field; because it is nonpartisan and independent of any interest group, the Institute has long been a source of accurate, unbiased information for journalists, researchers and policymakers. Its award-winning website contains extensive information on adoption-related issues, including ones relating to ethics and best practices.

Pertman, a Pulitzer Prize nominee for his writing about adoption, is the author of the groundbreaking book “Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America.” He lectures throughout the country and abroad, and his commentaries on adoption, foster care and nontraditional families have appeared in numerous major print and broadcast media.

To arrange an interview, or for more information, please contact Pertman at 617-332-8944 (office), 617-763-0134 (cell) or apertman@adoptioninstitute.org. The Institute website is www.adoptioninstitute.org.