Saving International Adoption: Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell

Feb 8, 2018

International adoption hit an all time low in 2o15, with adoption rates down by more than half since 2004. Yet around the world, millions of orphaned and vulnerable children need permanent homes, and thousands of American and European families are eager to take them in. Why is the current system of international adoption collapsing?

During this Talk of Iowa interview, Mark Montgomery and Irene "Tinker" Powell talk with host Charity Nebbe about their new book Saving International Adoption: An Argument from Economics and Personal Experience. Montgomery and Powell, both Professors of Economics at Grinnell College, have two adopted sons and one birth daughter. Their first son was adopted domestically as an infant and their second at six years old from Sierra Leone. 

Drawing from both their own family's experience with the adoption process and from economic and policy analyses, they offer radical challenges to the prevailing structure of international adoption. To better serve both adopted children and their parents, Montgomery and Powell say that we should regulate market forces and ensure that birth and adoptive parents can meet to negotiate parental rights.

As part of the Writers@Grinnell series, Montgomery and Powell will read from their book today at 4:15 p.m. in the Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts in Grinnell.