Legislative factors of a large number of children waiting for adoption in California Essay
Legislative factors of a large number of children waiting for adoption in California, 488 words essay example
Essay Topic: adoption, california, children
from our communities make up a large number of children waiting for adoption. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 14,098 children out of the 107,918 total children waiting to be adopted at the end of Fiscal Year 2014, were children in California (Administration for Children and Families, 2015). In comparison with all other 49 states as well as the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico, California had the largest amount of children awaiting adoption, with Texas trailing behind with a total of 13,238 children. The statistical evidence showing that since FY 2005 California has consistently had the highest number of children waiting for adoption is proof that this is a problem not just for a single community within California, but throughout the California community as a whole. A contributing factor may be that California is one of 19 states that has not yet established a putative father registry (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2014). Another factor that may play a part is that under California Family Code Section 7610, a relationship between a mother and child can be established in one of these two ways
"(a) Between a child and the natural parent, it may be established by proof of having given birth to the child, or under this part.
(b) Between a child and an adoptive parent, it may be established by proof of adoption" (Uniform Parentage Act).
This translates to an unmarried mother automatically gaining custody of her child at birth, without the need for any legal action. She can therefor decide what happens to the child without consent from the father. Children and fathers throughout California will continue to be victims without the implementation of a system where they are afforded every chance to be with their parent or child.
The proposed legislation will impact these issues in various ways. The legislation will first and foremost decrease the amount of contested adoptions by urging states to develop an individual state registry, which will allow for a national registry to link all information into a single database. A national putative father registry will ultimately protect the parental rights of responsible fathers, while also expediting and protecting a child's right to a permanent home in the case where a father does not intend assuming responsibility of his rights (Beck & Biesterfeld, 2007). Although previously introduced legislation regarding the implementation of a national putative father registry has failed to gain enactment, such as Senator Mary Landrieu's introduction of the Proud Father Act to the Senate in 2006, awareness of the need for a national registry continues to increase (Beck & Biesterfeld, 2007). With issues like mothers relocating to other states in order to deny a father his parental rights, it is apparent that a national registry is a viable solution to address the intentions of legislation aiming to, "protect the parental rights of earnest unwed fathers against interstate adoption, to protect the privacy and safety of birth mothers, and to expedite the prompt stable placement of children"