Focusing on developmental and clinical issues in children's adjustment to adoption, the authors introduce this volume with an overview of historical and contemporary perspectives, then explore various theories that have addressed the issue of psychological risk associated with adoption. Following a review of empirical research on factors that influence the adjustment process, the authors discuss different types of adoption, analyze methodological problems, and discuss clinical and assessment issues that commonly arise in work with adoptees and their families.
Infant-Placed Adopted Children
Modern adoption practice emerged in response to a pressing societal need for improved care for dependent and orphaned children. Research had demonstrated quite clearly that children raised in orphanages and other large group care facilities suffered significant developmental delays in many areas of psychological functioning (Goldfarb, 1945; Spitz, 1945). The development of family foster care, although an improvement over institutional life, also was shown to be associated with significant negative consequences for children, particularly those who lingered in care for long periods or who experienced multiple placements (Bohman, 1970; Fanshel & Shinn, 1978). Adoption, in contrast, was viewed by child welfare professionals as providing a permanent and nurturing family environment in which children could grow and flourish. Because of the ...