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Adoption

  • By: Barbara J. White
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

The history of adoption in the Deaf community exposes a child welfare system that inadequately serves deaf members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, or adoptees. This history includes long-standing oppressive practices and legal precedents denying deaf parents the right to adopt children, as well as more recent studies and anecdotal evidence that shows the strengths of adoptive families with deaf members.

Adoption is the legal process that transfers the parental rights of the biological parents to nonrelated adults who agree to parent the child until legal age and assume all the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. Deaf people have adopted deaf and hearing children in the United States and in other countries for centuries. Some of these adoptions are informal and involve the ...

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