by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
When Child Protective Services (CPS) takes children from a loving, non-abusive family, the parents, and sometimes grandparents, aunts, and uncles, often seek out information about what is happening. Many gravitate toward groups on social media that provide education and support for those fighting CPS for their children.
As the confused parents try to sort out the information and learn how to get their children back, one question dominates their search: How can this happen in America?
It isn’t long before they will hear of ASFA – the Clintons’ Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which provides billions of federal dollars to states to place children in foster care and adopt them out to strangers. Parents quickly learn that ASFA is one of the most destructive pieces of legislation to ever impact American families. Activists and parents alike are calling for it to be abolished.
However, before there was ASFA, there was CAPTA. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974, or “The Mondale Act,” doesn’t receive nearly the attention that ASFA does, yet it is the piece of legislation that established Child Protective Services in all 50 states.
It remains in existence today. It has to be reauthorized periodically. Since its passage, it has been re-approved every 4 to 6 years, with new amendments added each time.
Richard Wexler, the executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, calls CAPTA “the one-stop shop for bad ideas.” In a recent article called, “CAPTA Law Codifies Everything Wrong With How We ‘Fight’ Child Abuse,” Wexler writes: