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Family Agency Reports Acute Shortage of Jewish Infants for Adoption

The shortage of white Jewish infants available for adoption has become so acute that while the Jewish Family and Children’s Service here continues to have an adoption service, it is virtually inoperative. But the number of childless couples seeking to adopt children remains substantial, according to Abraham Davis, executive director of the agency. Currently, he said, the JFCS has a waiting list of at least 20 such couples. He said that reports were correct that the overall lack of available white children for adoption was due to birth control, abortions and the growing determination of unwed mothers to keep their infants. According to the newsletter of the Jewish Federation of North Jersey, the problem for the JFCS is aggravated by the agency’s policy of accepting for adoption only Jewish infants, those, that is, with a Jewish mother, regardless of the father’s background.

In 1969, Davis said, ten infants were placed and seven last year. Indications are that the agency will place only two infants this year, he said. Discussing the fact that more unmarried mothers want to keep their babies, he said there was now less stigma attached to an unmarried mother raising her child, with “a marked decrease in community and social pressure,” which makes it “much easier for the mother to care for her child.” At the same time, he pointed out, there is an ever-growing list of hard-to-place babies–those who are black, or interracial or handicapped. He cited an estimate by the federal Children’s Bureau that 40,000 black children await adoption plus another 60,000 children, who are older and who have physical handicaps and other problems.

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