Nobody's Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative

Overview

"An extraordinary book. Chilling, inspiring, and utterly convincing, it creates an ironclad case for the adoption solution."
-Sylvia Ann Hewlett, coauthor of The War Against Parents

"Bartholet sounds the alarm on the savage consequences the child welfare system has on so many children and challenges us to confront the reality that substance abuse . . . is the culprit in most cases of child abuse and neglect. Everyone who cares about our nation's most vulnerable children should ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $16.64   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

"An extraordinary book. Chilling, inspiring, and utterly convincing, it creates an ironclad case for the adoption solution."
-Sylvia Ann Hewlett, coauthor of The War Against Parents

"Bartholet sounds the alarm on the savage consequences the child welfare system has on so many children and challenges us to confront the reality that substance abuse . . . is the culprit in most cases of child abuse and neglect. Everyone who cares about our nation's most vulnerable children should read this book."
-Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

"Blood and race remain the over-riding factors in determining the future of suffering children. This should be required reading for those who look on adoption as the last resort."
-Mary McGrory, Washington Post columnist

"Bartholet is a passionate crusader on behalf of children, and brings to her subject vigorous, clear-headed prose and the moral authority of her professional dedication."
-Ann-Janine Morey, Chicago Tribune

"Bartholet issues a strong challenge to the child welfare system to facilitate adoption of children who have been abused and neglected.All people concerned about the healthy development of children should read Nobody's Children. I highly recommend it."
-Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"The way we treat abused and neglected children in this country remains a national scandal. Bartholet challenges the priority placed . . . on keeping battered or neglected children with their families or racial group, and makes a strong case for increased use of adoption."
-Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum (ret.), author of the Multiethnic Placement Act

"A disturbing look at how the lives of 'America's modern-day orphans' are sacrificed for the often unrealistic goal of keeping troubled families together. . . . The author makes her case intelligently, fearlessly, and exhaustively."
-Kirkus Reviews

Elizabeth Bartholet is a professor at Harvard Law School. Her first book, Family Bonds: Adoption, Infertility, and the New World of Child Reproduction, was called "brilliant . . . an intelligent and passionate exploration of the legal, racial, and psychological issues" by The New York Times Book Review. The mother of three boys, two of them adopted from Peru, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An extraordinary book. Chilling, inspiring, and utterly convincing, it creates an ironclad case for the adoption solution. --Sylvia Ann Hewlett, coauthor of The War Against Parents

"Bartholet sounds the alarm on the savage consequences the child welfare system has on so many children and challenges us to confront the reality that substance abuse . . . is the culprit in most cases of child abuse and neglect. Everyone who cares about our nation's most vulnerable children should read this book." --Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

"Blood and race remain the over-riding factors in determining the future of suffering children. This should be required reading for those who look on adoption as the last resort." --Mary McGrory, Washington Post columnist

"Bartholet is a passionate crusader on behalf of children, and brings to her subject vigorous, clear-headed prose and the moral authority of her professional dedication." --Ann-Janine Morey, Chicago Tribune

"Bartholet issues a strong challenge to the child welfare system to facilitate adoption of children who have been abused and neglected…All people concerned about the healthy development of children should read Nobody's Children. I highly recommend it." --Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"The way we treat abused and neglected children in this country remains a national scandal. Bartholet challenges the priority placed . . . on keeping battered or neglected children with their families or racial group, and makes a strong case for increased use of adoption." --Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum (ret.), author of the Multiethnic Placement Act

"A disturbing look at how the lives of 'America's modern-day orphans' are sacrificed for the often unrealistic goal of keeping troubled families together. . . . The author makes her case intelligently, fearlessly, and exhaustively." --Kirkus Reviews

Randall Kennedy
It is inspiring to see an intellectual join passion with knowledge and focus them effectively upon an important social problem. That is precisely what Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at Harvard law school and an expert in family and civil rights law, has done. For a decade, she has been on a crusade to better the predicament of parentless children. . . . .

Bartholet has now written a book, Nobody's Children, that deepens her critique of the way our society fails orphans and children who are abused or neglected by "parents." I put parents in quotation marks pursuant to one of the main lessons of Nobody's Children-that "true parenting should be defined more by social bonds than by blood." In Bartholet's view, parenting consists of nurturing a child. She resists endowing an individual with the honorific title of parent simply because that person sires a child or gives birth to it. [She argues that] the blood tie alone should be viewed as an insufficient predicate for parenthood, especially when adults seriously neglect or abuse children that are presumptively "theirs." When adults do these things, Bartholet contends, their parental rights should either be terminated or suspended and reinstated only if they show convincingly that they are apt to rehabilitate themselves forthwith. Children, Bartholet convincingly argues, should not be condemned to dangerous, dysfunctional homes once it is clear that putative "parents" cannot, in fact, parent. Rather than waste public resources and precious time on doomed efforts at "family preservation" where there is no realistic family to preserve, she advises administrators and legislators to free neglected and abused children more readily and quickly for adoption. . . . .

One need not agree with all that Bartholet writes . . . to feel admiration and gratitude for her analysis of the dismal situation in which all too many American children-our children-are stuck. She has distinguished herself nobly as a caring, combative and insightful public intellectual.


Randall Kennedy is a professor at Harvard Law School. He is also a contributing editor of IntellectualCapital.com.

KLIATT
Bartholet, a professor at Harvard Law School, makes the point that the child welfare system's policy of keeping troubled families together at all costs is detrimental to the children involved. A better solution, she feels, is to encourage adoption of children from abusive and neglectful families by stable, intact families. With books like White Oleander being featured on Oprah, the troubled foster care system is a hot topic. While this scholarly book would probably be slow going for most teens, it will be of interest to counselors who work with troubled families. The book would also be a good resource for students writing reports about adoption, foster care, and related subjects. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1999, Beacon Press, 304p, notes, index, 21cm, 99-22976, $17.50. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Fran Lantz; Author of YA novels, Santa Barbara, CA, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
Kirkus Reviews
A disturbing look at how the lives of "America's modern-day orphans" are sacrificed for the often unrealistic goal of keeping troubled families together. Bartholet (Family Bonds: Adoption and the Politics of Parenting, 1993), an expert on family law and an adoptive mother herself, traces the historical, political, and cultural reasons why battered and neglected children are far more likely to spend years in "foster limbo," or be sent back to abusive homes, than to be adopted by loving families. The author charges that despite recent legislation that bars race as a factor, everyone from private foundation administrators to judges, lawyers, and bureaucrats continues to be guided by the notion that children should be cared for by relatives, or adopted by families who look like them. Back in 1972, the National Association of Black Social Workers denounced transracial adoption as a form of "racial genocide." Though "race-matching policies have gone underground" since then, Bartholet believes they resurface in criteria like "kinship" and "cultural competence." Because other relatives may not be up to the task of parenting, and because there are not enough minority families to adopt all the children who need them, the author asserts that race-matching essentially condemns many youngsters to lasting physical, cognitive, and emotional damage. Whereas wife beaters are treated like criminals, child abusers, often plagued by poverty and substance abuse, tend to be seen as victims themselves. Bartholet expresses sympathy for their plight but demands that social workers stop using precious child-welfare resources to prop up deeply disturbed families. "What matters," she insists, "is that thechildren get into homes where they can thrive." She also suggests, somewhat unrealistically, that the state could take a proactive role in reducing child abuse by instituting "universal visitation" of all families before and after birth. The author makes her case intelligently, fearlessly, and exhaustively. Curiously, since her subject matter is so wrenching, Bartholet's writing lacks emotional power. Nobody's Children ultimately appeals not to the heart, but to the head.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807023198
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Bartholet is a professor at Harvard Law School. Her first book, Family Bonds: Adoption, Infertility, and the New World of Child Reproduction, was called "brilliant . . . an intelligent and passionate exploration of the legal, racial, and psychological issues" by The New York Times Book Review. The mother of three boys, two of them adopted from Peru, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Inherited Tradition: Parenting Rights and State Wrongs 33
2 The Politics 44
3 Modern-Day Orphans 59
4 Underintervention Vs. Overintervention 98
5 Traditional Programs Weather the Storm 113
6 "New" Programs Promote Traditional Ideas 141
7 Intervening early with Home Visitation 163
8 Taking Adoption Seriously 176
9 Substance Abuse 207
10 Race, Poverty, and Historic Injustice 233
Notes 245
Index 293
Acknowledgments 303
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)