A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition

by Barbara A. Moe


Adoption is one of humanity’s oldest and most widespread customs—it has been practiced by every culture in the world throughout history. Yet our ideas about adoption remain in constant flux. Should we allow single parents to adopt? What about same-sex couples? Are transracial adoptions successful? Should we seal adoption records? This volume provides the latest answers and the best thinking on these controversies.

Print Flyer

March 2007


Pages 342
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Society

This compilation of the best thinking about adoption by both historical and current authorities reveals a vital, ever-changing practice affecting the lives of millions of people around the globe.

The ancient practice of adoption has changed significantly through history. In colonial America, parents adopted out their unwanted children—those who were “rude, stubborn, and unruly”—to other families. Today, Americans go abroad looking for children to adopt, and have adopted more than a quarter million internationally.

Adoption: A Reference Handbook, Second Edition not only traces the development of expert thinking about adoption, it also looks at both sides of the latest controversial issues. Should adoptions be open or closed? Should the government regulate adoptions more closely—or less? This updated second edition offers an international perspective with a new chapter on how countries outside the United States provide adoption services. This work is an indispensable resource for those thinking about adoption or researching its history.


  • Primary sources include testimony from hearings and court cases, and case studies explain and illuminate concepts
  • A chronology of events and milestones includes coverage from the time of Moses to the present day


  • Demonstrates that adoption requires constant study and monitoring of its ever-changing nature
  • Provides fair and objective coverage of controversies allowing the reader to look at both sides of disputed issues
  • Offers a summary of leading sources to provide analysis and perspective on the facts presented
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about. Visit the entire list of titles in the series at


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Barbara A. Moe, M.S., is a consultant to the Special Needs Program at Adoption Alliance in Denver, CO, and was previously director of that organization for 16 years. She is the author of 18 books for young adults and has won awards including an Outstanding Service Award from the Child Welfare League of America and a Top Hand Award from the Colorado Authors' League.

Topic Centers




1 Background and History
Lifelong Issues in Adoption
Who Adopts Children?
How Agencies Screen Prospective Parents: The Home Study Process
Types of Children Available for Adoption
Method (Style) of Adoption
Domestic (In-Country) Adoption
Intercountry (International) Adoption
The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000
Type of Adoption and Care
Possible Emotional and Health Problems
Health Problems That May Occur in Children Adopted Internationally
Laws and Policies
Other Information of Interest
References and Further Reading

2 Issues and Controversy
Open or Closed Adoption
Open or Closed Records
Do Transcultural and/or Transracial Adoptions Work?
Should Single People Be Allowed to Adopt?
What About Same-sex Couples?
Should the Government Provide More or Less Regulation of Adoption?
What About Infant Abandonment Laws? Are They "Safe Havens" or "Baby Dumps?"
What About Adoption Itself? Is It Valuable or Not?
References and Further Reading

3 Adoption Around the World
The United Kingdom
South Korea
The Philippines
References and Further Reading

4 Chronology
5 Biographical Sketches
Viola Wertheim Bernard (1907-1998)
John Bowlby (1907-1990)
Charles Loring Brace (1826-1890)
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973)
Reverend George Clements (1932- )
Dorothy DeBolt and Robert DeBolt
Michael Dorris (1945-1997)
Marian Wright Edelman (1932- )
Vera Fahlberg (1934- )
Florence Anna Fisher (ca. 1929- )
Anna Freud (1895-1982)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Arnold Gesell (1880-1961)
Clara McBride Hale (1905-1992)
Joan Heifetz Hollinger (1940- )
Harry Holt (1905-1964) and Bertha Holt (1904-2000)
Patricia Irwin Johnston (1945- )
C. Henry Kempe (1922-1984)
H. David Kirk (1918- )
Janusz Korczak (1878-1942)
Betty Jean Lifton (1926- )
Lois Ruskai Melina (1952- )
Jean Paton (1908-2002)
Justine Wise Polier (1903-1987)
Jessie Taft (1882-1960)
Sophie van Senden Theis (1885-1957)
Dave Thomas (1932-2002)
Barbara Tremetiere (1939- )

6 Facts and Data
The Children's Bureau
Staying Connected: The Child Welfare Information Gateway
How Many Children Were Adopted in 2000 and 2001?
How Many People Are Seeking to Adopt?
How Many Women Place Their Children for Adoption and Who Are the Women Who
Place Their Children?
Data Collection History and Sources
Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting Systems (AFCARS)
Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS)
What is the Difference between AFCARS and SACWIS?
Federal Laws and Policy
Testimony and Statements
Litigation in Adoption
Supporting Adoptive Families

7 Directory of Organizations
Federal Agencies Concerned with Adoption
National Resource, Educational, Support, Advocacy, and/or Policy-Making Organizations Concerned with Adoption
National Legally Oriented Organizations with Adoption Connections
State Offices

8 Selected Print and Nonprint Resources
Print Resources
Nonprint Resources
Videos and DVDs
Adoption Software

About the Author



"This work contains a good overview and starting point on adoption."—ARBA

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