American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 58


Used by permission.


The goal of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA)1 was to promote permanency for children as early as possible. When President Clinton signed the bipartisan bill into law twenty-five years ago, Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) noted that it “will promote permanency” and “result in more children leaving hopeless situations and finding the best gift we can give a child—a permanent loving home.” While ASFA was primarily directed at children in the foster care system, advocates of international adoption have promoted the same goal of giving children a permanent, “forever home.” And for years, the United States has led the world in the number of children adopted from other nations. However, the promise of “forever” has been broken for many.