W.H. Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families, 1919

Personal and Racial Selection. It is also desirable in fitting children to applications, to select such as resemble one or both of the foster parents, or at least not specially different from them in appearance. A strong contrast between parents and children causes endless remarks and calls for continued explanations, which are often irritating and sometimes embarrassing to the foster parents, and frequently a source of trouble to the children. This is especially to be considered when infants or very small children are taken with a view to subsequent adoption.

The laws of most states properly require that so far as is practicable placements of children be made in families of the same religious faith as that held by the children or their parents. It is also worth while to avoid mixing too diverse types or nationalities, as, for instance, the very swarthy with the decidedly blond. There need be no question of superiority or inferiority raised in a rule to limit placements generally to similar personal, racial, or national types, or to approximations of them in their American descendants. No good can come from, and much harm may be done by, wilful violations of customs and comity in the placement of children, even when the child welfare worker in so doing violates neither state laws nor his own conscience.


Source: W.H. Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families: A Manual for Students and Social Workers (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1919), 125.

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