_The Psychosocial Development of Adopted Children De___________________________________________________
PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF ADOPTED CHILDREN
by Geoffrey A. Rickarby FRANZCP
This paper develops the earlier work of the author and his colleagues, with the hindsight of a further twenty years of caring for disturbed adopted children.
It examines the themes of attachment/detachment, trust/distrust, gratitude, obligation and belonging, major difficulty in identity formation, response to obfuscated adoption motivation and high levels of conditioning and control that are the lot of those adopted children who are fortunate to be brought up in a family where they can remain until at least middle adolescence.
An Eriksonian model is used, and the work of Stierlin is drawn upon in understanding psychosocial separation issues of late adolescence. The thesis is put forward that adoptive children have more difficult and less culturally supported developmental tasks to achieve than those in a moderately functioning biologically related family. It puts a plea for more education of adoptive parents in these special difficulties, as they also suffer severely as a result of ignorance of these mostly inevitable processes.