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In the case of parental divorce, adoptees have been found to respond differently from children who have not been adopted. While the general population experienced more behavioral problems, substance use, lower school achievement, and impaired social competence after parental divorce, the adoptee population appeared to be unaffected in terms of their outside relationships, specifically in their school or social abilities.

Several factors affect the decision to release or raise the child. White adolescents tend to give up their babies to non-relatives, whereas black adolescents are more likely to receive support from their own community in raising the child and also in the form of informal adoption by relatives.

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Research suggests that women who choose to release their babies for adoption are more likely to be younger, enrolled in school, and have lived in a two-parent household at age 10, than those who kept and raised their babies. There is limited research on the consequences of adoption for the original parents, and the findings have been mixed. One study found that those who released their babies for adoption were less comfortable with their decision than those who kept their babies.

However, levels of comfort over both groups were high, and those who released their child were similar to those who kept their child in ratings of life satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and positive future outlook for schooling, employment, finances, and marriage.

However, these feelings decreased significantly from one year after birth to the end of the second year. More recent research found that in a sample of mothers who had released their children for adoption four to 12 years prior, every participant had frequent thoughts of their lost child. For most, thoughts were both negative and positive in that they produced both feelings of sadness and joy.

Those who experienced the greatest portion of positive thoughts were those who had open, rather than closed or time-limited mediated adoptions. In another study that compared mothers who released their children to those who raised them, mothers who released their children were more likely to delay their next pregnancy, to delay marriage, and to complete job training. However, both groups reached lower levels of education than their peers who were never pregnant.

Adolescent mothers who released their children were more likely to reach a higher level of education and to be employed than those who kept their children. They also waited longer before having their next child.

Furthermore, there is a lack of longitudinal data that may elucidate long-term social and psychological consequences for birth parents who choose to place their children for adoption. Previous research on adoption has led to assumptions that indicate that there is a heightened risk in terms of psychological development and social relationships for adoptees.

Yet, such assumptions have been clarified as flawed due to methodological failures. But more recent studies have been supportive in indicating more accurate information and results about the similarities, differences and overall lifestyles of adoptees. Evidence about the development of adoptees can be supported in newer studies.

It can be said that adoptees, in some respect, tend to develop differently from the general population.

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This can be seen in many aspects of life, but usually can be found as a greater risk around the time of adolescence. For example, it has been found that many adoptees experience difficulty in establishing a sense of identity. There are many ways in which the concept of identity can be defined.

It is true in all cases that identity construction is an ongoing process of development, change and maintenance of identifying with the self. Research has shown that adolescence is a time of identity progression rather than regression. Typically associated with a time of experimentation, there are endless factors that go into the construction of one's identity. As well as being many factors, there are many types of identities one can associate with. Some categories of identity include gender, sexuality, class, racial and religious, etc. For transracial and international adoptees, tension is generally found in the categories of racial, ethnic and national identification.

Because of this, the strength and functionality of family relationships play a huge role in its development and outcome of identity construction. Transracial and transnational adoptees tend to develop feelings of a lack of acceptance because of such racial, ethnic, and cultural differences. Therefore, exposing transracial and transnational adoptees to their "cultures of origin" is important in order to better develop a sense of identity and appreciation for cultural diversity.

For example, based upon specific laws and regulations of the United States, the Child Citizen Act of makes sure to grant immediate U. Identity is defined both by what one is and what one is not. Adoptees born into one family lose an identity and then borrow one from the adopting family. The formation of identity is a complicated process and there are many factors that affect its outcome. From a perspective of looking at issues in adoption circumstances, the people involved and affected by adoption the biological parent, the adoptive parent and the adoptee can be known as the "triad members and state".

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Adoption may threaten triad members' sense of identity. Triad members often express feelings related to confused identity and identity crises because of differences between the triad relationships. Adoption, for some, precludes a complete or integrated sense of self. Triad members may experience themselves as incomplete, deficient, or unfinished.

They state that they lack feelings of well-being, integration, or solidity associated with a fully developed identity. Family plays a vital role in identity formation. This is not only true in childhood but also in adolescence. The research seems to be unanimous; a stable, secure, loving, honest and supportive family in which all members feel safe to explore their identity is necessary for the formation of a sound identity.

Transracial and International adoptions are some factors that play a significant role in the identity construction of adoptees. Many tensions arise from relationships built between the adoptee s and their family. Will tensions arise if this is the case? What if the very people that are supposed to be modeling a sound identity are in fact riddled with insecurities? Ginni Snodgrass answers these questions in the following way. The secrecy in an adoptive family and the denial that the adoptive family is different builds dysfunction into it. To believe that good relationships will develop on such a foundation is psychologically unsound" Lawrence.

Secrecy erects barriers to forming a healthy identity. The research says that the dysfunction, untruths and evasiveness that can be present in adoptive families not only makes identity formation impossible, but also directly works against it. What effect on identity formation is present if the adoptee knows they are adopted but has no information about their biological parents? Silverstein and Kaplan's research states that adoptees lacking medical, genetic, religious, and historical information are plagued by questions such as "Who am I?

Adolescent adoptees are overrepresented among those who join sub-cultures, run away, become pregnant, or totally reject their families. The adoptee population does, however, seem to be more at risk for certain behavioral issues. Swedish researchers found both international and domestic adoptees undertook suicide at much higher rates than non-adopted peers; with international adoptees and female international adoptees, in particular, at highest risk.

Nevertheless, work on adult adoptees has found that the additional risks faced by adoptees are largely confined to adolescence. Young adult adoptees were shown to be alike with adults from biological families and scored better than adults raised in alternative family types including single parent and step-families. For example, in one of the earliest studies conducted, Professor Goldfarb in England concluded that some children adjust well socially and emotionally despite their negative experiences of institutional deprivation in early childhood.

This suggests that there will always be some children who fare well, who are resilient, regardless of their experiences in early childhood. Since the proportion of adoptees that seek mental health treatment is small, psychological outcomes for adoptees compared to those for the general population are more similar than some researchers propose.

In Western culture, many see that the common image of a family being that of a heterosexual couple with biological children. This idea places alternative family forms outside the norm. As a consequence, research indicates, disparaging views of adoptive families exist, along with doubts concerning the strength of their family bonds. The most recent adoption attitudes survey completed by the Evan Donaldson Institute provides further evidence of this stigma.

Nearly one-third of the surveyed population believed adoptees are less-well adjusted, more prone to medical issues, and predisposed to drug and alcohol problems. The majority of people state that their primary source of information about adoption comes from friends and family and the news media. Some adoption blogs, for example, criticized Meet the Robinsons for using outdated orphanage imagery [] [] as did advocacy non-profit The Evan B.

Donaldson Adoption Institute. The stigmas associated with adoption are amplified for children in foster care. Adoption practices have changed significantly over the course of the 20th century, with each new movement labeled, in some way, as reform. These ideas arose from suggestions that the secrecy inherent in modern adoption may influence the process of forming an identity , [] [] create confusion regarding genealogy , [] and provide little in the way of medical history.

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Family preservation : As concerns over illegitimacy began to decline in the early s, social-welfare agencies began to emphasize that, if possible, mothers and children should be kept together. It established three new principles including "to prevent placements of children Open records: Movements to unseal adoption records for adopted citizens proliferated along with increased acceptance of illegitimacy.

Similar ideas were taking hold globally with grass-roots organizations like Parent Finders in Canada and Jigsaw in Australia. In , England and Wales opened records on moral grounds. By , representatives of 32 organizations from 33 states, Canada and Mexico gathered in Washington, DC to establish the American Adoption Congress AAC passing a unanimous resolution: "Open Records complete with all identifying information for all members of the adoption triad, birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptee at the adoptee's age of majority 18 or 19, depending on state or earlier if all members of the triad agree.

It is the deep and consequential feeling of abandonment which the baby adoptee feels after the adoption and which may continue for the rest of his life. Estimates for the extent of search behavior by adoptees have proven elusive; studies show significant variation. Nevertheless, some indication of the level of search interest by adoptees can be gleaned from the case of England and Wales which opened adoptees' birth records in The projection is known to underestimate the true search rate, however, since many adoptees of the era get their birth records by other means.

The research literature states adoptees give four reasons for desiring reunion: 1 they wish for a more complete genealogy, 2 they are curious about events leading to their conception, birth, and relinquishment, 3 they hope to pass on information to their children, and 4 they have a need for a detailed biological background, including medical information. It is speculated by adoption researchers, however, that the reasons given are incomplete: although such information could be communicated by a third-party, interviews with adoptees, who sought reunion, found they expressed a need to actually meet biological relations.

It appears the desire for reunion is linked to the adoptee's interaction with and acceptance within the community. Internally focused theories suggest some adoptees possess ambiguities in their sense of self, impairing their ability to present a consistent identity. Reunion helps resolve the lack of self-knowledge. Externally focused theories, in contrast, suggest that reunion is a way for adoptees to overcome social stigma. First proposed by Goffman, the theory has four parts: 1 adoptees perceive the absence of biological ties as distinguishing their adoptive family from others, 2 this understanding is strengthened by experiences where non-adoptees suggest adoptive ties are weaker than blood ties, 3 together, these factors engender, in some adoptees, a sense of social exclusion, and 4 these adoptees react by searching for a blood tie that reinforces their membership in the community.

The externally focused rationale for reunion suggests adoptees may be well adjusted and happy within their adoptive families, but will search as an attempt to resolve experiences of social stigma. Some adoptees reject the idea of reunion. It is unclear, though, what differentiates adoptees who search from those who do not. One paper summarizes the research, stating, " In sum, reunions can bring a variety of issues for adoptees and parents. Nevertheless, most reunion results appear to be positive. This does not, however, imply ongoing relationships were formed between adoptee and parent nor that this was the goal.

The book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" by Judith and Martin Land provides insight into the mind of an adoptee from childhood through to adulthood and the emotions invoked when reunification with their birth mothers is desired. Reform and family preservation efforts have also been strongly associated with the perceived misuse of adoption.

In some cases, parents' rights have been terminated when their ethnic or socio-economic group has been deemed unfit by society. Some of these practices were generally accepted but have later been considered abusive; others were uncontroversially reprehensible. Forced adoption based on ethnicity occurred during World War II. In German occupied Poland, it is estimated that , Polish children with purportedly Aryan traits were removed from their families and given to German or Austrian couples, [] and only 25, returned to their families after the war.

These practices have become significant social and political issues in recent years, and in many cases the policies have changed. From the s through the s, a period called the baby scoop era , adoption practices that involved coercion were directed against unwed mothers, as described for the US in The Girls Who Went Away. More recently the military dictatorship in Argentina from to is known to have given hundreds of babies born to women captives who were then murdered to be brought up by military families.

New mothers were frequently told their babies had died suddenly after birth and the hospital had taken care of their burials, when in fact they were given or sold to another family. It is believed that up to , babies were involved. The language of adoption is changing and evolving, and since the s has been a controversial issue tied closely to adoption reform efforts. The controversy arises over the use of terms which, while designed to be more appealing or less offensive to some persons affected by adoption, may simultaneously cause offense or insult to others.

This controversy illustrates the problems in adoption, as well as the fact that coining new words and phrases to describe ancient social practices will not necessarily alter the feelings and experiences of those affected by them. Two of the contrasting sets of terms are commonly referred to as positive adoption language PAL sometimes called respectful adoption language RAL , and honest adoption language HAL.

In the s, as adoption search and support organizations developed, there were challenges to the language in common use at the time. As books like Adoption Triangle by Sorosky, Pannor and Baran were published, and support groups formed like CUB Concerned United Birthparents , a major shift from "natural parent" to "birthparent" [] [] occurred. Along with the change in times and social attitudes came additional examination of the language used in adoption. Social workers and other professionals in the field of adoption began changing terms of use to reflect what was being expressed by the parties involved.

These kinds of recommendations encouraged people to be more aware of their use of adoption terminology. Find your state's statutes governing the termination of parental rights by a court in " Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights ," a publication from the Child Welfare Information Gateway. You can look adoptuskids. Foster Adoption Process and Subsidies]. A key part of the preparation and homestudy phase is working with a social worker to identify the characteristics of the child ren you are interested in adopting and able to parent.

These may include age, gender, race, and physical and mental health. In many states, older children ranging from 10 to 14 years must consent to their own adoptions. Each state defines special needs differently. In general, however, a child may be considered to have special needs if he is age five or older, is a member of a minority group, has one or more ongoing physical, mental, or emotional health issues, or is part of a sibling group being placed together.

States differ in how they work with private adoption agencies and whether they will accept a homestudy prepared by a social worker who is not affiliated with a public or private agency. In most states, adoption from foster care does not require a family to hire an attorney. Some families choose to do so because it gives them greater confidence in the legal process. In most states, children are represented by attorneys in the process, but if the adoptive parents want legal representation, they must use a different attorney. Each child has his or her own caseworker.

Adoptions appear to be more stable when parents have flexible and realistic hopes and expectations for their children and when they make use of any post-adoption supports that are available to help with learning, medical, behavioral, or emotional challenges. It is important for families to ask about adoption support services as soon as a particular child has been identified for adoption.