Although most mental health and behavioral health professionals have encountered adoption triad members—birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted persons—in their clinical practice, the vast majority have had no formal or informal training on adoption issues. The Handbook of Adoption is the first text designed for mental health practitioners to specifically address the many dimensions of adoption-related issues which can and do affect adoption triad members, specifically in the United States.

Adoption Data and Statistical Trends

Adoption data and statistical trends

Sources of Adoption Data

There has never been a single, comprehensive, and continuous national datacollection effort to capture information on all adoption activity in the 50states of the United States and its territories. For the most part, what weknow of the extent of formal adoption practices, whether public or private,domestic or international, derives from a combination of disparate datasources often pieced together and often estimated. The lack of a completeand consistent database is not surprising, argues Pertman (2000),considering that

generations of secrecy have prevented us from knowing just how widespread[adoption] has become. The subject has been considered off-limits for solong, both by individuals and by society as a whole … thatdetermining how many triad members there are—or havebeen—would ...

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