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Keywords:

  • Adoption Placement;
  • Birth Culture;
  • Enhancing Cultural Preservation;
  • Expert Evidence;
  • and Fostering

This article examines transracial/cultural placement of children for fostering and adoption as discussed within the context of expert evidence in applications for permanent placement. Transracial/cultural placement raises the issues of attachment and identity. The undesirability of the child being raised apart from the natural biological family's culture and ethnicity, the undesirability of disrupting secure attachments, and the significance of birth parents' parenting capacity are placed in stark contrast. The benefits of contact in reducing sense of abandonment and loss of parental care and culture of origin are also examined. The best practice for transracial placements depends upon the cultural prominence determined to be in the child's best interests. Placements favored are those where attachment is secure and parenting capacity is judged superior. The child's best interests may generally be considered by the courts in the short to medium term to be enhanced by placement with the person(s) with whom the child has the strongest attachments. The longer term issue is more problematic and not determined with confidence.

Keypoints

  • Cultural preservation of children's birth culture in out-of-home placements for fostering and adoption
  • Placement of children—issues for attachment and identity
  • Best practice and cultural dominance in placement where ethnically and racially diverse environments of origin of placement and child
  • Best interests principle Considerations for secure attachment and parenting capacity