Special-Needs Adoption: A Study of Intact Families

Special-Needs Adoption: A Study of Intact Families

Special-Needs Adoption: A Study of Intact Families

Special-Needs Adoption: A Study of Intact Families

Synopsis

This volume reports the results of a large-scale survey of families who adopted children with "special needs": older children, minority children, handicapped children, or sibling groups. It assesses perceptions of social work services, parent-child relationships, family functioning, child behavior, school performance, and other aspects of adoptive family life. Rosenthal and Groze compare outcomes for different types of adoptions, including adoptions of children of different ages, adoptions by minority families, transracial adoptions, single-parent adoptions, adoptions by less educated and less wealthy families, adoptions by foster parents, adoptions of children with handicaps, and sibling group adoptions.

Excerpt

"No child is unadoptable" has long been a basic tenet of the special-needs adoption field. This study by James Rosenthal and Victor Groze supports another basic tenet: most committed families, if given information, preparation, and on-going support, can successfully adopt. A child's special needs or parents' age, income, type of housing, marital status, education, race, or culture have little to do with success in adoption. Special-needs adoptions work!

Those of us who have been working in the field for some time tend to forget that the special-needs adoption field is a fairly new one--only about 20-years-old. It is rewarding work where we have seen "miracles" happen: the child whose physical and cognitive development catches up to his or her chronological age; the child who has been in numerous placements and is able to stabilize. But we are also now seeing things we did not see in the past, either because we did not recognize them or because they are more prevalent: the effects of sexual abuse, alcohol, and drug abuse. This study reflects the real world experiences of children with traumatic histories joining families with optimistic expectations. What they find is a mixture of pleasure and pain. As the field matures, it becomes increasingly clear that love is not necessarily enough, that permanency does not always heal old wounds, and that being a healing resource for a traumatized child can be very painful.

This study of 800 intact adoptive families by Rosenthal and Groze reveals a substantial majority of families who have adopted children with special needs feel that they have gained satisfaction and rewards from their . . .

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.