Children in Adoptive Families: Overview and Update

Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.35). 11/2005; 44(10):987-95. DOI: 10.1097/01.chi.0000174463.60987.69
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To summarize the past 10 years of published research concerning the 2% of American children younger than 18 years old who are adoptees.
Review recent literature on developmental influences, placement outcome, psychopathology, and treatment.
Adoption carries developmental opportunities and risks. Many adoptees have remarkably good outcomes, but some subgroups have difficulties. Traditional infant, international, and transracial adoptions may complicate adoptees' identity formation. Those placed after infancy may have developmental delays, attachment disturbances, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Useful interventions include preventive counseling to foster attachment, postadoption supports, focused groups for parents and adoptees, and psychotherapy.
Variables specific to adoption affect an adopted child's developmental trajectory. Externalizing, internalizing, attachment, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms may arise. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can assist both adoptive parents and children.

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    • "behavioral and emotional problems) (Glidden, 2000; Goldberg, 2010; Nickman et al., 2005). "
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    • "Situations may necessitate termination of parental rights, and formal adoption is deemed the outcome. Even though children can flourish in formal adoptions, unique issues may contribute to difficulties in the functioning of adoptive families, such as different familial backgrounds of children and families (Pinderhughes, 1996), attachment issues of children (Brodzinsky, Smith, & Brodzinsky, 1998; Nickman et al., 2005), lack of knowledge of children's histories (Sar, 2000), and decisions to allow children to maintain or develop relationships with biological families (Berry, 1993; Mcroy, Grotevant, Ayers-Lopez, & henney, 2007). Disruptions or dissolutions (removal of children from the adoptive placements before or after the adoptions are legalized) can result because of difficulties in the families (e.g., child behavior problems). "
    Families in society: the journal of contemporary human services 01/2011; 92(3). DOI:10.1606/1044-3894.4136 · 0.29 Impact Factor
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    • "Insomuch as children who are adopted are at a somewhat greater risk for developing emotional/ behavioral problems (Nickman et al., 2005), and aspects of the child (e.g., perceived difficultness) are often linked to parents' relationship quality (Levy-Shiff, 1994), the intimate relationships of adoptive parents may be at risk during the transition to parenthood. Thus, it is important to clarify what factors, present in the pre-adoptive period, are linked to relationship quality over time, as such knowledge can directly inform prevention efforts. "
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    ABSTRACT: The authors examined preadoptive factors as predictors of relationship quality (love, ambivalence, and conflict) among 125 couples (44 lesbian couples, 30 gay male couples, and 51 heterosexual couples) across the 1st year of adoptive parenthood. On average, all new parents experienced declines in their relationship quality across the 1st year of parenthood regardless of sexual orientation, with women experiencing steeper declines in love. Parents who, preadoption, reported higher levels of depression, greater use of avoidant coping, lower levels of relationship maintenance behaviors, and less satisfaction with their adoption agencies reported lower relationship quality at the time of the adoption. The effect of avoidant coping on relationship quality varied by gender. Parents who, preadoption, reported higher levels of depression, greater use of confrontative coping, and higher levels of relationship maintenance behaviors reported greater declines in relationship quality. These findings have implications for professionals who work with adoptive parents both pre- and postadoption.
    Journal of Family Psychology 06/2010; 24(3):221-32. DOI:10.1037/a0019615 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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