A task force appointed by President Reagan is expected to report next month on ways the government can promote and encourage adoption. In announcing the task force, the White House pointed out that thousands of childless families are waiting for children, thousands of children with special needs are not adopted, and women experiencing crisis pregnancies often do not place their babies for adoption.

“We must expand and broaden our efforts to make sure that America’s family-less children are adopted,” Reagan said. “We must do all we can to remove obstacles that prevent qualified adoptive parents from accepting these children into their homes.”

According to a White House statement, the Reagan administration “is especially committed to infant adoption as an alternative for pregnant women” who are considering raising their children alone or obtaining abortions. The task force is charged with identifying barriers to adoption, assessing laws and regulations affecting the process, and recommending ways to improve it. “There are as many problems as there are kinds of adoptions,” said Mary Gall, task force chairperson and counselor to the director of the federal Office of Personnel Management. Gall, who is single, adopted two children from Guatemala.

The 13-member task force is made up of government staff officials from a variety of federal agencies and departments, including two White House policy officials. The task force report is due November 22.

Identifying Needs

A major obstacle confronting the task force is the lack of statistical data on adoption. Federal efforts to collect such data ended in 1975, and the best source of information today is the Adoption Factbook, published ...

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