Friday, December 31, 2010

"Keeping the Promise"

--Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, October 2010 linked here

From the Executive Summary (p. 4):

“Over the last two decades, our nation has seen steep increases in the number of adoptions from foster care in the United States and from orphanages abroad – which, combined, make up the vast majority of non-stepparent adoptions; i.e., we have made considerable progress in finding enduring families for girls and boys who have suffered from abuse, neglect, multiple placements, institutionalization and other pre-adoption experiences that can cause them physical, psychological, emotional and developmental harm. Now the paradigm has to shift, and our priority must be not only to achieve permanency, but also to assure that adoptive parents receive the supports they need to raise their children to healthy adulthood.

This research-based report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute represents the most
extensive compilation of knowledge in the area of post-adoption services to date, and it’s goal is
unambiguously ambitious: It is to broaden the understanding of this critical issue by the public,
professionals and policymakers – and to promote a commensurate realignment of state and national priorities and resources – so that effective, accessible supports for sustaining and strengthening adoptive families become a routine, ongoing reality. The bottom line is that best practices should entail not only helping to form families, but also enabling them to succeed.”

The report builds a case that post-adoption support is critical for the successful adjustment of adoptive families, and therefore should be normative and universally available. In the process it summarizes the current research on factors influencing the adjustment of adopted children, which even adopting parents early in the process will find interesting. (Don’t miss Appendix III.) The Table of Contents on pages 2-3 will help you navigate this very helpful 99 page report.

Thanks, Dorothy, for starting off a holiday weekend with a link to great reading!

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