Providing for the best interests of the child?: The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997


Journal Article

The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) was passed to increase rates of adoptions and other permanent placements for children in foster care. Through acceleration of timelines for terminating the rights of biological parents and for developing permanency plans, ASFA has the potential to reduce the length of time children spend in foster care as well as the number of disruptions in placements they experience there, yet still promotes reunification when this can be accomplished expeditiously and safely. Developmental research suggests that foster care often results in better outcomes for children than does reunification with their biological families but that adoption often leads to better outcomes than does foster care. These findings indicate that the overall goals outlined in ASFA are appropriate and likely serve the best interests of many children; however, a number of problems with the child welfare system remain. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kernan, E; Lansford, JE

Published Date

  • September 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 523 - 539

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0193-3973

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.appdev.2004.08.003

Citation Source

  • Scopus