Children in adoptive families: overview and update.
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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ABSTRACT: We present the results of a study carried out in Italy with 39 Italian couples seeking to adopt, aged between 35 and 45 years, and 39 matched non-adoptive couples which compared their attachment states of mind with respect to caregivers and partners and quality of couple relationship. Both partners of the couples completed individually measures of attachment to caregiver (Adult Attachment Interview; AAI), attachment to partner (Current Relationship Interview; CRI and Experiences in Close Relationships Scale-Revised; ECR-R) and marital quality (Dyadic Adjustment Scale; DAS). The results showed that couples seeking to adopt did not differ from the control group with respect to attachment to caregivers (AAI). However potential adoptive fathers were more likely to show secure attachment classifications with respect to partner (CRI) than non-adoptive fathers. Finally, couples seeking to adopt expressed higher levels of positive feelings and thoughts within the couple relationship (ECR-R) and better perceived quality of marital relationship (DAS) than the control group. Overall, these findings suggested that couples seeking to adopt placed a high value on attachment relationships, which is considered a relevant factor for positive outcome of adoption.Journal of Child and Family Studies 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10826-015-0134-6 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of children’s and adults’ experiences with adoption. This qualitative study used individual interviews to examine 25 participants—8 adoptive mothers and fathers, and their 5- to 14-year-old sons (n=5) and daughters (n=4) adopted before 18 months. Data were collected using a phenomenological methodology and analysis of the data was guided by the following research questions: (a) What are children’s and parents’1 overall experiences with adoption? (b) What is the social construction of adoption? (c) What do children understand about the concept of adoption and how do they construct that understanding? (d) How do language and word choices influence the concept of adoption? (e) What would you like others to know about adoption? Analysis followed steps defined by Moustakas and others and revealed five interactive themes that resonated among all families (a) parents’ beliefs/experiences, (b) the need for education and change to promote adoption and positive adoption terminology, (c) communication, (d) children’s understanding, (e) and identity. Limitations, future research possibilities, policy implications and implications for those who counsel, teach, and work with parents and children who have experienced adoption were identified.01/2008, Degree: M.S., Supervisor: Sedahlia Jasper Crase
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ABSTRACT: Adoption theory, policy and practice have undergone considerable change in the period between the introduction of the Adoption Act (1976) and the Adoption and Children Act (2002). In this period, in particular, adoption has increasingly come to be understood within the context of an ethic of ‘openness’. This has had implications for the day to day lives of members of the adoption triad, that is, adoptive parents, adoptees and birth family members, and their attempts to ‘make adoption work’ across their lifecourse. The thesis draws on theories of family and kinship in order to develop understandings of day to day family practices that emerge in adoptive families and the way these shape and are shaped by adoption discourse. The thesis provides an analysis of local and national statistical data and the biographical accounts of twenty two adoptive parents who had children placed with them between 1977 and 2001. These were all domestic ‘stranger’ adoptions. From the adopters’ narratives it was apparent that the core and ongoing challenge facing adoptive parents was to find a unique way of ‘doing’ adoptive family life which acknowledged the importance both of biological ties and legal kinship. This was the case regardless of the year of the adoption and continues to challenge these families today. The thesis explores the tasks which flow from this core challenge, that is, developing and maintaining family relationships between adopters and adoptees where none previously existed, finding a place for birth relatives within the adoptive kinship model and developing a positive identity as a non conventional family. The thesis challenges the conceptualisation of adoptive relations as ‘fictive kinship’ and biological connectedness as ‘real’ kinship and presents evidence of the fragility of both the biological family and the adoptive family where there has been a legal adoption of a child. At the same time the thesis reveals the ability of both biological and adoptive family ties to endure over time despite cultural barriers. The study also reveals that existing typologies of adoption as ‘confidential’, ‘mediated’ and ‘fully disclosed’ fail to capture the complexity of adoptive family life. A new definition of both adoptive kinship and ‘openness’ in adoption are developed and the implications of these redefinitions for adoption policy and practice are explored.01/2009, Degree: PhD Applied Social Sciences, Supervisor: Professor Simon Hackett, Helen Charnley, Margaret Bell