The Multiethnic Placement Act 25 Years Later: Trends in Adoption and Transracial Adoption

The Multiethnic Placement Act 25 Years Later: Trends in Adoption and Transracial Adoption

Published: Dec 21, 2020
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA), originally enacted in 1994, was intended to improve the likelihood that children were adopted and ensure that minority children did not wait in foster care longer than their White peers. This report examines recent trends in adoption and transracial adoption, including the extent to which children of color wait disproportionately in foster care and whether wait times are uniform across age groups and other demographic factors.

Research Summary

This document provides an overview of the research study on implementation of MEPA requirements and analyses of state efforts to recruit a more diverse base of foster and adoptive parents.

Transracial Adoption from Foster Care in the U.S. (Snapshot)

As the number of adoptions has increased over time, the growth in transracial adoptions has outpaced the growth in same race adoptions. This snapshot presents data related to trends in adoptions and transracial adoptions since 2005.

Key Informant Interviews
Allon Kalisher, Jill Spielfogel, Karina Edouard, and Marisa Shenk

Finding adoptive homes that ensure long term connections and support for all children, but particularly for children of color, is a longstanding issue for child welfare agencies. MEPA was intended to reduce the time that children spent in foster care awaiting placement in adoptive homes. This report examines implementation of MEPA, as amended, through in-depth interviews with program officials and stakeholders in three states, roughly 25 years after the law was passed.

Diligent Recruitment Plans
Allon Kalisher, Jill Spielfogel, Marisa Shenk, and Karina Edouard

This analysis examines state implementation of Diligent Recruitment Plans (DRPs), which demonstrates state efforts to comply with MEPA’s requirement to recruit foster and adoptive parents that reflect the racial and ethnic composition of their foster care population.

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