Metcalf & Beal
The Multiethnic Placement Act
The Multiethnic Placement Act

The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) is a federal law, enacted in 1994, that prohibits racial and ethnic discrimination in connection with adoptions and foster care. A 1996 amendment, called "Removal of Barriers to Interethnic Adoption," reaffirmed and strengthened the MEPA.

Applicability of the MEPA

The MEPA applies to states and entities that receive federal funds.

Prohibitions of the MEPA

The MEPA prohibits states and entities from:

(1) delaying or denying a child's foster care or adoptive placement on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of the child or the prospective parents; or

(2) denying to any individual the opportunity to become a foster parent or adoptive parent on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of the child or the prospective parent.

Requirements of the MEPA

The MEPA requires states to diligently recruit foster and adoptive parents who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the children in the state who need homes. The states must draft and implement comprehensive recruitment plans to achieve the goals of the MEPA.

The Indian Child Welfare Act

The MEPA has no effect on the Indian Child Welfare Act, which attempts to strengthen Native American families by restricting the removal of Native American children from Native American homes.

Copyright 2006 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


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