Adoptive Families in Distress
ADOPTIVE FAMILIES IN DISTRESS,
Rikarby.G.A.: Lee.M.M.: Said.J.: Eagan.P.:
In a study of 22 adoptive families, themes that emerged included problems with bonding, motivations for adoption, and psychiatric illness of parents. Implications for adoption workers are discussed,
Recent studies have reported that up to 13.3% of children attending child psychiatric services were adopted, compared with a much smaller incidence of adoption in the general population. Explanations offered for this are,
Overall there was retrospective evidence of pathological motivations in at least half of the families.
With respect to individual members, major psychiatric illness was evident in eight parents and there were indications of many grossly neurotic or disturbed interactions in eleven other families.
They summarise by saying that: Where a child has not developed in the mothers uterus, it has no biological links with the family and is not seen as a continuation of life of the parents and grand-parents. Bonding then, may be a very difficult process. In addition the short time of notice that is given to adopting parents that they may collect their baby may add further dangers to the development of bonding.
It is strongly suggested that adoption workers should carefully examine adopting parents and their psychiatric state before approving them for adoption.