• Victor Groza
  • Lindsey Houlihan
Reference work entry

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...


Child Welfare System Adoptive Parent Identity Issue Birth Parent Adoptive Family 
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Suggested Reading

  1. 1.
    Brodzinsky, D., & Schecter, M. (1990). The psychology of adoption. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Groza, V., & Rosenberg, K. (Eds.). (2001). Clinical and practice issues in adoption: Bridging the gap between adoptees placed as infants and as older children, revised and expanded. Westport, CT: Bergen & Garvey.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sachdev, P. (1989). Unlocking the adoption files. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Winkler, R., Brown, D., van Keppel, M., & Blanchard, A. (1988). Clinical practice in adoption. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. 1. Retrieved February 2, 2003. A site that addresses all aspects surrounding birth parent’s concerns, such as coping with grief, romantic relationships, parenting issues, birth and placement, searching, support groups, how to cope, and counseling resources.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Joint Council on International Children’s Services Retrieved February 2, 2003. The Joint Council on International Children’s Services is an organization that advocates for ethical practices within international adoption agencies.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    National Adoption Information Clearinghouse Retrieved February 2, 2003. The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC) is a service of the Children’s Bureau; Administration on Children, Youth, and Families; the Administration for Children and Families; and the Department of Health and Human Services. The NAIC provides information for professionals, adoptees, birth relatives, and adoptive parents.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    North American Council on Adoptable Children Retrieved February 2, 2003. North American Council on Adoptable Children offers useful information regarding postadoption services that include articles that relate to issues regarding adoption and post-adoption.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Groza
  • Lindsey Houlihan

There are no affiliations available