By David Brodzinsky

Concentrating on developmental and scientific matters in kid's adjustment to adoption, the authors introduce this quantity with an outline of old and modern views, then discover a number of theories that experience addressed the problem of mental chance linked to adoption.

Following a evaluation of empirical study on elements that effect the adjustment procedure, the authors talk about kinds of adoption, examine methodological difficulties, and talk about scientific and evaluation matters that typically come up in paintings with adoptees and their households.

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Example text

As adopted teenagers experience sexual feelings and begin to experiment with sexual behavior, they often find themselves in a quandary regarding whom they wish to emulate—their adoptive parents, who typically urge restraint, or their birth parents, whose early sexual behavior may have led to their very existence. Sometimes adoptees view sex as a symbolic means of undoing the adoption. Adopted adolescent females, in particular, may fantasize about getting pregnant and nurturing their infant in a way their birth parent could not or would not do for them.

Kojis (1990), on the other hand, found that psychologists gave more serious diagnoses and recommended more intensive treatment plans when responding to hypothetical vignettes describing the behavior and symptoms of adopted adolescents compared with nonadopted youth. Thus, although adopted children and adolescents appear to be overrepresented in both outpatient and inpatient mental health facilities, at least part of the reason for this finding may be a referral and response bias on the part of adoptive parents and professionals.

For the most part, searching during the adolescent years is restricted to gathering information about one's birth parents and extended birth family, perhaps visiting one's birthplace, and for some youngsters, exploring their cultural, ethnic, or racial heritage. Attempting to make contact with birth family members usually is not an activity that most adolescents engage in. Rather, this type of search generally begins in the late 20s or early 30s (Schechter & Bertocci, 1990). As their adolescent children take on the challenges of integrating adoption into their emerging sense of themselves, adoptive parents have their own unique adoption-related tasks to consider.

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