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.

Chapter 5: Developmental Challenges for Adoptees across the LifeCycle

Developmental Challenges for Adoptees across the LifeCycle

Developmental challenges for adoptees across the life cycle

Adoptees face challenges becoming part of a new family in the context ofseparation from the biological family. To see adoption as a simple variation onthe typical manner in which families are formed is to miss the complexitysurrounding the processes of relinquishment and adoption.

As Brodzinsky, Smith, and Brodzinsky (1998) point out, overall adoptionstatistics are difficult to come by as national data have not beensystematically collected for some time. States are not required to record orreport the number of private, domestic adoptions, although internationaladoption statistics are reported. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute(1997) estimates that there are 1.5 million adopted children in the UnitedStates—that is, more than 2% of American children. When other ...

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