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 non-adopted 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.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ellen_wertheimer/22/