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News & Views - Dec, 1996 Issue #43 


(The following was sent by George Posner, an educational consultant from Ithaca, New York, 607-273-5400. He received it from an Internet List Server.) 

A nonprofit group called the Search Institute did a study (“Growing Up Adopted: A Portrait of Adolescents and Their Families”) of families with teenage children who had been adopted as infants. (I am quoting from a summary of this study, which I found under Books and Resource on Adoption in the AOL Adoption folder.) The summary said “The study of 725 families found that most adoptive families are thriving, and most adolescents who were adopted as infants show no signs that adoption has a negative effect on their identity development, mental health, or well-being.” 

Children who were adopted past infancy are a different story. They are indeed “over-represented” in treatment programs, especially those that specialize in attachment disorder and related problems. I have read extensively on this topic, and one thing I find interesting is that these children tend to present similar issues and behaviors, whether the child was placed for adoption by a child protective agency in the U.S., or was adopted from an orphanage abroad. Though the adoptive families in these different situations tend to fit very different profiles, yet the children “act out’ in such similar ways. 

Copyright © 1996, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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