In the 3-year period between 1997 and 1999, more than 45,000 children entered the United States as children of intercountry adoptions (INS, 2000), and over 18,000 more entered during calendar year 2000 alone. Approximately 60,000 others entered the country between 1990 and 1996 on daily “baby flights” from Romania, China, Korea, Guatemala, Russia, and the former Russian states (e.g., Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine). Compared to the waves of children adopted from Vietnam, Korea, or other countries in the 1950s through the 1980s, most of these “new” internationally adopted children were institutionalized in orphanages for 1 or more years prior to their placement in families. More than half of these children were 1 year of age or older at the time of their adoption. Research now indicates that some postinstitutionalized children experience significant learning and behavioral difficulties despite the love and care of their new parents, whereas many others display subtle difficulties posing problems for teachers upon school entry (Clauss & Baxter, 1997; Groze & Ileana, 1996; Price, 2000).
Parents are frequently ill-prepared to meet the sometimes overwhelming needs of their children and they are often at a loss regarding how to approach day-care providers or teachers regarding their