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This Article is part of a celebration of the magnificent work of Dorothy Roberts who, more than any other scholar, has brilliantly demonstrated both the highly destructive qualities of the United States’ family regulation system and its relationship to the country’s legacy of slavery. The most vicious feature of the current family regulation system is the almost routine destruction of families resulting from an overly zealous enforcement of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, through which the federal government pays states to permanently banish parents from their children and legally sever the parent-child relationship when children have remained in foster care for fifteen months. This Article tells some of the racialized history that led to the enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act.
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