Evidence-based practice or practice-based evidence: What is happening with MEPA and current adoption practices?

Susan C. Mapp, Elizabethtown College
Needha Boutté-Queen, Texas Southern University
Stephen Erich, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Patricia G. Taylor, University of Houston


The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) and Interethnic Placement Act (IEPA) were passed in an attempt to eliminate race as a barrier to adoption. The purposes of the current research were to discover what child welfare social workers know about MEPA and IEPA, their views about the usefulness of the acts in addressing race issues in adoption, and how these two acts have affected their child placement practices. A randomized nationwide survey of social workers in child welfare had 261 respondents. Respondents seemed knowledgeable about the acts, but they remained uncertain about their intended purpose and lacked knowledge about research on transracial adoption (TRA). The majority of respondents indicated race is a continuing factor in adoptive placements. ©2008 Alliance for Children and Families.