ProPublica Follow Up Article on Bonding “Expert”

ProPublica Follow Up Article on Bonding “Expert”

In a follow up to the foster parent intervention article that was published in ProPublica and The New Yorker in October, this week ProPublica published an article on the woman who regularly wrote expert reports supporting foster care placement over parents and relatives.


Who hired and was paying her in the case that she was being deposed about? The foster parents, she answered. They wanted to adopt, she said, and had heard about her from other foster parents.

Had she considered or was she even aware of the cultural background of the birth family and child whom she was recommending permanently separating? (The case involved a baby girl of multiracial heritage.) Baird answered that babies have “never possessed” a cultural identity, and therefore are “not losing anything,” at their age, by being adopted. Although when such children grow up, she acknowledged, they might say to their now-adoptive parents, “Oh, I didn’t know we were related to the, you know, Pima tribe in northern California, or whatever the circumstances are.”

The Pima tribe is located in the Phoenix metropolitan area.