This article argues that the doctrine of informed consent should apply to the process of adopting a child. There is substantial evidence that all adopted children are at higher risk of learning disabilities and mental health problems than nonadopted children. The article first summarizes the social science evidence demonstrating these risks and discusses some of the reasons why more extensive studies have not yet been done. The article then turns to the law of informed consent as created and applied in the contexts of medicine and law, and concludes that informed consent doctrine should apply to the process of adoption. Thus, adoption professionals should inform prospective adoptive parents about the risks that adopted children (and their parents) confront.
Ethics and Professional Responsibility | Injury and Tort Law | Medical Jurisprudence | Psychology and Psychiatry
Date of this Version
Ellen Wertheimer, "Of Apples and Trees: Adoption and Informed Consent" (November 2006). Villanova University School of Law Working Paper Series. Working Paper 68.