ADOPTION

(MONEY Magazine) – ''Where Have All the Babies Gone?'' (December) is a very thought-provoking story on our failed adoption system. ! It is important that your readers understand that adoption is a beautiful way to build a family (my husband and I adopted six children) but that it is not the same as having biological children. Adopted children, like all children, are influenced by their genetic backgrounds, which are often unknown. These children must also deal with the fact that someone gave them up for adoption. Adoptive families should be prepared to accept the reality that many of the children's characteristics (good and bad) are inherited. Peggy Soule Executive director, the CAP Book Inc. ((the National Photo Listing of Children Waiting for Adoptive Parents)) Rochester, N.Y.

As a district court judge, I am all too familiar with the problems described in ''Where Have All the Babies Gone?'' I believe the most effective way to keep our children from getting trapped in bureaucratic limbo is for lay people to become directly involved in the court and foster-care process. Through the Court Appointed Special Advocate program, for example, 12,000 men and women in 45 states volunteer to work one-on-one with abused and neglected children to make sure they aren't lost or forgotten. Tom McDonald President, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association Seattle