Independent Adoptions

December 11, 1987

Report Outline
Special Focus


Dawn Smith-Pliner and her husband, Joel, live in a small town in central Vermont. Seven years ago, they decided to adopt a baby. They contacted numerous agencies, public and private, in search of a healthy infant, white or black. What they heard distressed them.

The black agencies said they had …babies, but they were not going to place them in white homes, no matter what,” Smith-Pliner recalls. “Other agencies indicated they had a three-to-five year wait for a healthy infant.” Some adoption agencies were not eager to help the couple because they had been married only six months and were of different religions (Methodist and Jewish).

Smith-Pliner and her husband did not give up, “I knew there were children out there for us adopt she says. She wrote letters, made phone calls and “just shouted to everyone who would listen to me that we wanted to adopt.” At a party, they heard about a young woman to who was pregnant and was considering putting her baby up for adoption. Smith-Pliner and her husband consulted an attorney and followed the lead—and thus found their adopted daughter. Aura Joy, now 7, A year later, by similar means, they adopted their son, Isaac, now 6.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Adoption and Foster Care
Dec. 06, 2011  International Adoption
Apr. 22, 2005  Child Welfare Reform
Sep. 10, 1999  Adoption Controversies
Jan. 09, 1998  Foster Care Reform
Nov. 26, 1993  Adoption
Sep. 27, 1991  Foster Care Crisis
Dec. 11, 1987  Independent Adoptions
Nov. 16, 1984  Issues in Child Adoption
Jun. 27, 1973  Child Adoption
Nov. 09, 1951  Child Adoption Safeguards
Child Abuse
Welfare and Welfare Reform