According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting system, in 2011 there were 104, 236 children waiting to be adopted in the United States (p. 4). Adoption is the legal process an individual or family goes through to gain legal custody of a child in foster care. This child’s parents have lost custody of their child because they have been deemed unfit to raise the child, either because of neglect or abuse. After the child is removed from the horrible situation, he or she is taken by child services and placed in a foster home or with a family member. This system is in place to protect children from further abuse, neglect and trauma. Today, children in foster care are in the system for a very short period of time; there is a push to getting them out of a foster home and transition into a safe, loving and permanent environment. The foster care system is run the way it is because of the implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.
The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 changed the way we approach foster care and adoption. It was the first law that solely focused on children alone, not the entire family. The main objective of this law was to create timelines. These timelines determined the length of time a child could be in foster care before the parents’ loose custody of the child. After parental rights are terminated, the agency is to start searching for a family to adopt the child. In essence, this act took a process that could go on for years and condensed it. This law gives incentives for parents to clean up their act and prove they are changing for the better, through agencies allocated by the Adoption and Safe Families Act, but did not force a child to wait endlessly for their parents to either change or for a judge to give them to the state so that they may finally be adopted. These incentives decrease the amount of time children spend away from the family environment they so desperately need. Without the help of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, children would be stuck in foster care for an overwhelming amount of time, putting them at a higher risk of never getting out of the home.
The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 is based on a normative resource allocation. This specifically has to do with the developmental needs of the child. These children are abused and/or neglected by their families. Due to the fact that this law is only specific to abused and neglected and abused children, it would be considered a selective law.
Provision and Delivery
The law provided framework for agencies in a number of ways. Mainly, this law created timelines for foster care to follow. The goal was to create a long enough period of time for the parents to get their act together, but also keep it within a reasonable amount of time that the children will be placed with a family that will provide for him or her. For example, it determines how long a child can be in foster care before the...