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Journal Issue: Adoption Volume 3 Number 1 Spring 1993

Statement of Purpose
Richard E. Behrman

Statement of Purpose

The primary purpose of The Future of Children is to disseminate timely information on major issues related to children's well-being, with special emphasis on providing objective analysis and evaluation, translating existing knowledge into effective programs and policies, and promoting constructive institutional change. In attempting to achieve these objectives, we are targeting a multidisciplinary audience of national leaders, including policymakers, practitioners, legislators, executives, and professionals in the public and private sectors. This publication is intended to complement, not duplicate, the kind of technical analysis found in academic journals and the general coverage of children's issues by the popular press and special interest groups.

In this issue of The Future of Children, we examine adoption as the primary means of providing a stable, nurturing, loving home to some children who, for a variety of reasons, have been deprived of such an environment. From the perspective of what is in the best interests of the child, we explore the major barriers to adopting children and to making adoption successful. We have attempted to do so objectively from multiple perspectives in a format that is accessible to a broad readership.

Adoption touches many facets of society in this country and in other nations as well. Some aspects of adoption are closely related to foster care and to various other institutional alternatives of caring for children who are not cared for by their own parents. Other dimensions relate to trends in divorce, teenage pregnancy, infertility, poverty, and single-parent households, as well as to foreign wars and famines. The articles presented here summarize knowledge and experience in selected areas which, in our judgment, are highly relevant to improving public policies in the United States and are critical to maximizing the benefit to children that can be achieved by placement in adoptive homes. We hope that the individual perspectives, descriptions, and analyses these articles contain will provide the basis for a better understanding of the issues and will suggest reasonable policies and program strategies to pursue. The Overview and Major Recommendations, authored by the staff of the Center for the Future of Children, draws from these articles and from our own research and deliberations.

We invite your comments and suggestions as you read this issue of The Future of Children. Our intention is to encourage informed debate about adoption and related issues. To this end we invite correspondence to the Editor. We would also appreciate your comments about the approach we have taken in presenting the focus topic and welcome your suggestions for future topics.