How well children and their families adapt to adoption depends on a few things, including social environments, biology, and time (see figure below).This document reviews information associated with adoption permanency.
Before adoption, parents’ should learn about…
- Birth parents’ medical histories
- Children’s health and medical history (e.g., history of malnourishment, low birth weight, documented disabilities)
- Children’s pre-adoption living conditions (e.g., whether children were in institutionalized care, such as orphanages, have a history of trauma/abuse)
- Children’s age at adoption
- Trans-racial and trans-cultural parenting
Is this information collected?
- The child’s health during the adoption process is most likely to be known. Family medical and child vaccination histories are often lacking, but this varies by children’s native countries.
- Types of adoption supports
- Information and referral
- Education and training
- Family support
- Mental health and crisis intervention
- Supports are not just needed during and immediately after the adoption process – challenges can occur throughout children’s development (e.g., during teenage years).
- Some resources for parents are available online through sites such as MN ADOPT. Others are sometimes available through local adoption service providers and programs/clinics, but often at a cost.
- Evidence from the MN ADOPT program, which offers services across the adoption continuum, suggests that parents tend to seek phone/email support on the following issues:
- Child emotional-behavioral issues
- Caregiver strain
- School-related challenges
- Adoption-specific resources/assistance