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Eliminating Race and Class Bias in Foster Care and Adoption No. 177

Adopted 2004
Amended 2005      

The retrenchment in income and social supports for lower-income people has put many parents at risk of losing custody of children in poverty. Race, class, religious, and economic biases in the practices and decisions of the child welfare system mean that mothers of color and their children are especially vulnerable to forced separation. ADA deplores the removal of children from loving homes for poverty alone and supports policies to enable families to remain together. ADA further urges policy reforms to end race, class, religious, and economic discrimination in welfare, foster care, and adoption services.


  1. ADA urges repeal of provisions of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) that unduly speed the termination of parental rights.

  2.  ADA urges new policies to prevent child removal for reasons of poverty alone.

  3.  ADA calls for stringent oversight of and reporting by welfare and child protection agencies to ensure that families of color, do not unjustifiably suffer separation.

  4.  ADA supports efforts to ensure that parental rights of incarcerated mothers are not terminated solely because of their incarceration.

  5.  ADA calls for policies that assure resources to poor families so that they may remain together if they wish to do so.

 # # # No. 177
Social and Domestic Policy Commission