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Despite the notion of the “traditional family” as a White nuclear family, adoption has a long history in human civilization. Over the past several decades, adoptive families have become more visible and recognized in the United States, challenging notions of what constitutes a family and what types of family arrangements are in the best interest of a child. Rather than assume that nontraditional families are destined for maladaptive outcomes, researchers and mental health professionals are increasingly investigating how differences among family members affect child and family functioning, with the goal of producing strong, high-functioning families.

While adopted children make up roughly 2% of the total youth population in the United States, they constitute 11% of adolescents referred for therapy. Research has reported that adopted persons ...

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