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Get Adoption and Fostering: Why and How PDF

By Carole R. Smith (auth.)

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Extra info for Adoption and Fostering: Why and How

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We must ask, however, whether the authors of these studies have adequately estimated the proportion of adopted children in the general population and whether such an estimate constitutes an appropriate baseline for comparison. If a relatively high referral rate is demonstrated, does this then lnean that there is sornething intrinsic to adoption which makes adopted children, in general, more prone to emotional maladjustment than their non-adopted peers? In relation to the first question, Schechter has been severely criticised for his method of estimating the proportion of adopted children in the general population.

Assessment measures have relied on duration of placements rather than on the quality of family interaction or the well-being of foster children. Whatever the differences in research design and outcome measurements used, Prosser notes that 'on both sides of the Atlantic there has been a great deal of concern expressed at the high failure rate offoster placements' and that 'a number ofstudies have reported success rates of around 40-500/0' (Prosser, 1978, p. 13). The higher rate of satisfactory outcome which has been demonstrated for adoption does not provide an argument for automatically favouring this option.

I t is the social and emotional aspects of this process which are likely to be of interest to social workers in adoption, rather than the significance of mysterious 28 Adoption and Fostering psychodynamic factors which, thus far, rernams empirically undemonstrated and open to question. Adopted children: a problem? The most significant stumbling block for many social workers seems to concern the essentially social nature of adoptive relationships and the separation of adopted children from their biological lineage.

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