Friday, September 24, 2010

Analyzing Adoption Success

This post is taken from my most recent reading material. It's called, Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child by Kathy Lancaster Ph.D.

It was very encouraging to read this section as sometimes I feel like adoption is all gloom and doom and those who take the adoption road are in for nothing but hard work and trouble. It's nice to read that the hard work can pay off and that adoption is a very positive thing.

Analyzing Adoption Success

In a large study of adopted families in the United States, researchers compared Midwestern teenagers who were adopted as infants to their non-adopted brothers and sisters. The study examined the health and well-being of all the teenagers involved in the study. Findings showed that the majority of the adopted children, including both domestic and international placements, were as happy and well-adjusted as their non-adopted brothers and sisters. Factors that contributed to the success of these adopted adolescents were strong attachments, solid families, and positive communication about adoption issues. 

Other studies took a closer look at the racial and ethnic experiences of transracially adopted persons, including African American children adopted through the foster care system and children adopted internationally from Korea. The studies showed that important factors in successful ethnic identity-building involved parental assistance related to their children's feelings of acceptance, comfort with their physical appearance, coping with discrimination, and development of social fluency in the customs and behaviors of both races.

Success factors of older child adoptions were identified in a study that examined families who adopted children with special needs from foster care. Successful families, defined as those whose finalized adoptions remained intact and who remained committed to the adoptive relationship, identified factors they felt contributed to success. The factors included parent and child preparation (background information and realistic expectations); quality post-adoption services; effective parenting skills; and, most importantly, the parents' commitment to the child regardless of the child's behaviors.

Time and again, regardless of the special characteristics children bring to the adoptive family unit, adoption success factors include strong attachments, strong family characteristics, and effective communication about adoption issues.


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