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ERIC Number: ED319477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Ethical Perspectives on the Current Controversy Regarding Openness in Adoption.
Tavis, Timothy M.
This paper outlines current changes in American adoption practice and the controversies surrounding these changes. It includes a discussion of the role that neo-Kantian and utilitarian perspectives have played in American adoption policy and practice, and offers an alternative, the communitarian perspective, described by Sandel (1984). Adoption practice in the United States is moving from the confidential mode, which has been dominant through much of the 20th century, to increasing degrees of openness and contact among the members of the adoption triangle. Several factors contribute to the current trend toward increased openness in American adoptions, and definitions of open placement differ. Most of the research on openness is anecdotal, and reports often seem inconclusive and incomplete. Sandel sees the dominent contemporary positions on social policy as variations on the two ethical views of utilitarianism and a neo-Kantian assertion of inherent individual rights. The utilitarian approach to conflict situations weighs the desires of involved parties and the relative costs and benefits for each of available courses of action. The neo-Kantian approach in such situations involves adjudication among parties on the basis of the inherent rights of each party. However, both the utilitarian and neo-Kantian approaches are insufficient, because both are inherently individualistic, while the dilemmas of adoption are relational. The alternative, the communitarian perspective on adoption exists, but generally goes unrecognized. Approximately 40 references are cited. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A