A scathing indictment of America's foster care and adoption systems. Based on clinical studies and case histories, McElvey (High Risk, 1988) and Stevens, a practicing psychologist, raise issues crucial to all concerned about child care. As the result of an inoperative child welfare system, they argue, hundreds of thousands of children ``spend their lives in limbo.'' The authors would like to see less money spent on foster care and more on family preservation and adoption. The lives of many children in the foster care system could be salvaged, they believe, if permanent, loving homes were found for them within a reasonable period of time. There are few white newborns available for adoption, but an increasing number of non-white older children are readily available. Prospective parents need to be told about the extraordinary demands that these older children can make and to be updated on growing evidence that genetics are a predominant factor in a child's makeup. Adoption agencies, too, need to be more flexible regarding the marital status, age, race, and financial assets of prospective adoptive parents. The authors' proposals to ``redesign a system that will work toward providing loving, secure homes for every child'' are, indeed, noble. But it's questionable whether many infertile couples (who make up most of the adoptive parents) would be willing to undertake parenting an older, troubled child who may even be HIV-positive. McElvey and Stevens have bravely exposed and documented all of our problems with America's most unwanted. Now what are we to do about them?