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Adoption is both a legal event and a lifelong experience that affects birth parents, adoptee, and adoptive parents. The birth family, the adoptee, and the adoptive family are known as the adoption triad. It is estimated that 2–5% of American households include adopted children. This translates into over 100,000 adoptions occurring in the United States each year. Based on a national survey of adoption attitudes reported by the Evan Donaldson Institute for Adoption, in 2002, most Americans (64%) knew a birth parent, someone who is adopted, or an adoptive parent. Adoption is a part of the national fabric of family life in the United States.
Adoption philosophy has changed since the 1970s. The paradigm has changed from finding infants for infertile couples (i.e., parent-centered adoption practice) to finding adoptive families who can meet the needs of children (i.e., child-centered adoption practice)—be they infants, older children, children with special health, developmental, or behavior...
KeywordsChild Welfare System Adoptive Parent Identity Issue Birth Parent Adoptive Family
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