More Babies to Adopt

Beth Spring did an excellent job on “When the Dream Child Dies” [Aug. 7]. It seems almost petty to carp about one misstatement in the sidebar “The Alternatives to Infertility”: “Despite an extremely short supply of healthy American infants, adoption remains a preferred alternative.…” There is no shortage of healthy American infants for adoption. The reason agencies have few babies for placement is that birth mothers, in droves, are refusing to work with agencies and opting, instead, to place their children directly for adoption with families they themselves have chosen. This is a response to a terrible lack of services on the part of most adoption agencies. First is the problem of adequate medical services for mother and infant; agencies cannot afford to pay for these. And second, most agencies insist on maintaining a veil of secrecy as to the identity of the adoptive family. Most birth mothers reject this approach.

PATRICIA SHIRLEY

Timonium, Md.

I am grateful Spring discussed adoption in listing alternatives for infertile couples, but disappointed foster care did not get equal time. Adoptive parents often wait many months for a child, while emergency city shelters fill up with foster children waiting for parents. As a foster homefinder in New York City, I am grateful when childless couples choose the “high-risk ministry” of being foster parents. They choose to love needy and often difficult children with no guarantees as to how long the children will be with them.

DONALD G. CARLIN

Queens, N.Y.

Coping with AIDS

The article on AIDS, “High-risk Ministry” [Aug. 7], was thought-provoking and consistent with my emotions and thought ...

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