The Children Who Wait
1 According to Marsha Traugot, what changes are transforming the American adoption scene?
Marsha Traugot describes some changes that are transforming the American adoption scene. Before 1960, childless white parents adopted only healthy white children. Black and grown up children were not adopted. Physically or/and mentally disabled children were treated as damaged goods that no one wanted to keep. Now people have started adopting black, handicapped and grown up children as well. The writer presents the case of a black girl named Tammy who is suffering from a disease. Now children like her are also adopted.
2 What factors are responsible for the changes in American adoption scene?
OR, How did Black movement and women’s movement help to bring changes in adoption scene?
Changes in social values are mainly responsible for the changes in American adoption scene. Black civil rights movement changed people’s negative attitudes towards black children. This decreased discrimination and encouraged social integration. Women’s movement, legalized abortion and birth control brought changes in people’s attitudes towards sex, marriage and childbirth. Even unmarried women could keep their children. This decreased the number of unwanted children and the number of healthy white children became less. This forced childless people to adopt other available children.
3 How do the adoption agencies find potential parents?
OR, How did the adoption agencies help to bring changes in adoption scene?
Adoption agencies try to find potential parents for orphans through personal contacts and the media. First, they make a list of parents who want to adopt child. Then they match the profile of the child and characteristic of a suitable family. They organize meetings and parties so that the children and possible parents could meet informally and interact. They advertise on T.V. and publish the children’s profile in the newspapers. Thus, the agencies have made the adoption easier.
4 What is “fetal alcohol syndrome”?
Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to mental and physical damage to the unborn child in the mother’s womb. It results in developmental problems in children whose mothers have drunk too much alcohol while they were pregnant. Children suffering from this condition have malformed facial features and learning difficulties. It makes a child look ugly and can stop the child’s intellectual growth.
5 Why was Tammy labeled as unadoptable in the past?
Before 1960, only healthy white infants were adopted. Physically or/and mentally disabled children were treated as damaged goods that no one wanted to keep. Black, sick, weak or grown-up children were not adopted either. Similar was the case with Tammy. She was a five-year-old black child suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. Therefore, she was considered unadoptable in the past.
6 How were the handicapped, black and weak children viewed in the past?
OR, What had happened to handicapped children in the past?
OR, What kinds of children were considered unadoptable?
OR, Why was it difficult for the handicapped and the black children to find foster family?
OR, Whom does Marsha Traugot refer to as the children who wait?
In the past, particularly before 1960, handicapped, black and weak children were labeled unadoptable. It was difficult for such children to find foster or permanent family because only healthy white children were adopted. Physically and/or mentally disabled children were treated as damaged goods that no one wanted to keep. They were not adopted and had to wait. Marsha Traugot refers to such handicapped, black and weak children as the children who wait.