Psychological Issues in Adoption: Research and Practice

Psychological Issues in Adoption: Research and Practice

Psychological Issues in Adoption: Research and Practice

Psychological Issues in Adoption: Research and Practice

Synopsis

In this book, leading researchers spotlight how dramatically the practice of adoption has changed both in North America and Europe in recent decades due to, among other factors, a falling rate of domestically born infants being placed for adoption. This has resulted in a rise in international adoption, children of color being placed with Caucasian parents, increased foster care and special needs adoptions including children exposed to prenatal alcohol and drug use as well as maltreatment by birth parents. Also examined is the far more diverse group of adults being granted adoption rights, including single and homosexual parents. Research findings demonstrate the trend across countries toward open adoption, wherein the birth parents and adoptive parents meet to share information. As the editors note, there is no longer a typical adopted child or a typical adoptive family.

Paralleling these changes has been a growing interest in the study of adopted children and adoptive parents. Although earlier research showed adoptees more likely to experience school problems and psychological disorders, recent studies show the differences in these areas between adoptees and non-adoptees to be relatively small. Models guiding adoption research are beginning to emphasize resilience and positive adaptation, rather than risk and psychopathology. This handbook will be of interest to all involved with adoption policy and practice.

Excerpt

As a social service field, the practice of adoption has changed dramatically over the past few decades not only in North America but in Europe as well. In most Western countries, fewer domestically born infants are being placed for adoption than in the past. In contrast, there has been a substantial rise in international adoptions. Many of these adoptions involve children of color who have been placed transracially with Caucasian parents. In other cases, they involve children who have lived in orphanages and experienced early social deprivation. In addition, there has been an increase in foster care adoptions and special needs adoptions in many countries. Typically, these children are older at the time of placement and often have histories of prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs, maltreatment by birth parents, and/or multiple foster care placements. Changes in adoption agency policy and recruitment practices also have resulted in a more diverse group of individuals being approved for adoptive parenthood than in the past. In fact, the goal of current social casework practice for most North American and European adoption professionals is to screen in as many different types of adoption applicants as possible rather than restricting adoption to a select group of individuals, as was the case just a few decades ago. There also has been a discernible shift in many countries toward increased openness in adoption, with agencies offering adoptive parents and birth parents the option of meeting one another, sharing identifying information, and perhaps developing a plan for ongoing contact following the adoption finalization. Taken together, these changes and others have dramatically altered the profile of the adoptive family. Adoption practice today is so complex and the structure of adop-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.