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Cultural Difference and Adoption Policy in the United States: The Quest for Social Justice for Children

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
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  • 1 Department of Sociology, Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York
  • | 2 Department of Sociology, Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York
  • | 3 Department of Social Work, Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York
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Abstract

This article discusses the impact of cultural difference on adoption in the United States (U.S.) during three historical periods and along three dimensions: religion, race and ethnicity. The focus is on the extent to which national and international definitions of the rights of the child as put forth by the United States, the United Nations and The Hague have affected adoption policy and practice. The article questions the extent to which the failure to respond to cultural differences has diminished the rights of the child and resulted in social injustice. Although focused on the U.S., the argument has relevance for many other countries, including Sweden, Romania, Ukraine, Australia, Korea and China.

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