Model State Adoption Act

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Model State Adoption Act

A 1981 act offering recommendations to state legislatures for facilitating the adoption of children with SPECIAL NEEDS. This act, which does not have the force of law, was issued by Richard S. Schweiker, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at that time. The earlier drafted Model State Adoption Act, which would have radically changed U.S. adoption practices, was withdrawn by the department as a result of bipartisan objections from Congress.

Key recommendations included such provisions as offering financial assistance to families who adopt children with special needs and who need such assistance; expanding grounds for TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, thus freeing children for adoption so they will not remain in foster care or institutions for years or indefinitely; creating state adoption administrations that will cut red tape and enhance cooperation between public and private adoption agencies; and considering the wishes of the PSYCHOLOGICAL PARENT regarding adoption. Some of these recommendations have been enacted into law by some states.

The American Bar Association attempted on this occasion to formulate similar suggestions pertaining to nonrelative U.S. adoptions, but the multi-year efforts resulted in such a level of controversy that another draft was approved. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) drafted and promulgated the uniform adoption act, which is under consideration by several states as of this writing.

For further information, contact

National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
676 N. St. Clair St.,
Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60611
312-915-0195


National Council For Adoption, Model Act for the Adoption of Children with Special Needs (Washington, D.C.: National Committee For Adoption, 1982).

Find more information on Model State Adoption Act

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