thismama: Have you ever been involved with the foster care system? Not read about it, not commented about it, but experienced it? If so, you would know that most often the primary goal is re-unification. That a child will be returned to its bio home over and over again in the hope that the parent/parents will do better the next time. (This does not occur as often now as in the past) Many times this is to the detriment of the child.
I am not saying that the system does not have flaws; but as many flaws as it has it is also the only thing like it at this time. The public system itself is still young having only been around since the 1960's. Up until that time child abuse was legal and in severe cases the parents were tried under animal cruelty laws. That being said the public adoption system has come a long way and is still learning, changing, and evolving. To wholly condemn it based on its past instead of realizing the strides that have been made and the lives that have been saved, well.....
Here is a link that provides some information on the public system, it takes a look at both sides of the issue that has been discussed on this thread.http://www.futureofchildren.org/info...m?doc_id=75337
To play devils advocate to some of the posts here. What does the public system have to gain by unjustly removing the baby from this child? Did they score points with the adoptive family? No, there is nothing gained here except for by the baby. If the family that adopted that baby were looking for the "perfect infant" they would not have gone through the public system they would have sought a surrogate or private adoption where they could ensure proper prenatal nutrition, no drug use, no neglect, etc, etc. Note: this is not to see that children who go through the public system are "damaged", however, there is an increased likely hood for issues to arise due to abuse or drug use.
I have been very pleasantly suprised at the passion that people have exhibited on both sides of this issue. It really shows that whatever side of the fence you are on you truly want what is best for everyone in the situation.
Here is a link that provides the latest stats available on the public sytem, it includes: # of children in system, median age, race, sex, length of stay, % w/ goal of reunificationhttp://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster.cfm