Naomi Schaefer Riley writes about the real damage bad ideas can cause in child welfare policy discussions.

How does the Overton Window shift? How do absurd ideas become part of mainstream discussion while reasonable policy disagreements are pushed outside the bounds of legitimate discourse? This was the question that a philanthropist asked me and a number of other leaders in the child-welfare field last week. We were discussing why the movement to abolish child welfare (a movement that has grown up alongside “defund the police”) has been popularised, even though so many people in the field maintain—increasingly behind closed doors—that such a move would not only be impractical, but that it would also pose a serious danger to hundreds of thousands of children across the country. 

The answer arrived later that day on Twitter. A journalist named Roxanna Asgarian, who until recently was the court reporter at the Texas Tribune, tweeted an article I had written about the results of a new survey of adult adoptees. The survey found that respondents were, on the whole, satisfied with their lives and that adoptees with at least one same-race parent had slightly lower life satisfaction than transracial adoptees. Asgarian tagged me and asked: “How about disclosing that you’re an adoptive mom if your entire thing is how we need more foster care?”

I didn’t “disclose” that I’m an adoptive mother because it isn’t true. …

… It never occurs to her that the truly powerless in this scenario are actually the children not the parents. … And because Asgarian is motivated by an ideological agenda, she and the people with whom she associates in the “child welfare industry” assume that everyone else must be too. About 2,000 children die of maltreatment in the US every year, but Asgarian assumes that the only reason I might have for supporting foster care is that I have adoptive children of my own, and therefore… what exactly? That I want to ensure a ready supply of adoptive children for others?