What Is Adoption?

Adoption is the process by which an adult legally and permanently takes over parental responsibility for a child and, at the same time, the rights and responsibilities of the child’s biological parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are terminated. In rare cases, an adult may adopt another adult. There are both domestic and international adoption programs, each with its own set of qualifying rules and requirements, along with its own set of potential complications. 

Some, though not all, children who have been adopted may experience psychological, neurological, social, and behavioral problems unique to their individual situation. These potential problems, which can develop at any age, include bonding, attachment, relationship issues, cognitive delays, ADHD, and matters related to identity formation. In an attempt to pinpoint causes and develop workable solutions, ongoing studies look at the genetic as well as both prenatal and postnatal environmental influences on the development of children who have been adopted. Another area of interest to mental health professionals and researchers is the occurrence of post-adoptive depression in adoptive parents.

Recent posts on Adoption

Fears and Consequence in Choosing Open Adoption

If the birth mother is in our lives, won't my child will be confused as to who their "real" parents are?

Adoption and Sibling Relationships

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on December 06, 2017 in Cravings
What role does adoption play in the development of bonds between brothers and sisters? Researchers are looking for answers.
Jennifer Bliss, PsyD, LCSW

How and When to Discuss Adoption With Your Child

Are you ready for your child's questions about their adoption? Having confidence and pride in the story of how you became a family is essential to a child's healthy development.

Adoption and the Circulation of Children

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on January 13, 2017 in Benign Neglect
Conflicting views on the meaning of adoption.

A Step-Child's Guide to Step-Parenting

Each family has its own story with its own peculiar complexities, but most have a moment in which the new boyfriend or girlfriend becomes a parent...

Older, Single, and Choosing to Be a Parent—Why Not?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on November 21, 2016 in Singletons
The number of single parents of all ages is growing. Is there a “correct” timeframe or blueprint for becoming a parent?

Barriers to Adoption for Same Sex Couples

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on February 01, 2016 in Am I Right?
Children may suffer in families for many reasons but being raised by a gay individual or couple is not, in and of itself, one of them.
A Story of Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

A Story of Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

By Tina Traster on May 01, 2014 in Against All Odds
A family's struggle with a child suffering from RAD turns into a hopeful story.

Making The Decision to Adopt After Losing A Baby

By Carrie Goldman on January 21, 2013 in Modern Day Parenting
A young mother works through her grief at losing her baby and makes the decision to adopt.
Stigmas About Adoption Remain, and Hurt Families

Stigmas About Adoption Remain, and Hurt Families

By Abbie Goldberg Ph.D. on May 21, 2012 in Beyond Blood
Although I have not seen the movie, “The Avengers,” I am aware that it has recently gotten some heat from the adoption community.

Why More People Don’t Adopt

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 25, 2008 in Singletons
If only adoption were easy...