By Carole R. Smith (auth.)
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Additional info for Adoption and Fostering: Why and How
In commenting on her own research Farber (1977) suggests that relatively young children show little interest in their adoptive status because their concrete and egocentric thinking and lack of cognitive skills prohibits a full awareness of what adoption means. For the idea of adoption to have any significance, children must be able to understand that their parents did not give birth to them, and that further, another set of unknown parents did give birth to them and relinquished them to an adoptive family.
Holman (1973) also observed from his own research findings that, generally, less parental contact was associated with a higher incidence ofcertain physical and emotional problems. Holman also suggests that 'inclusive' fostering which is open to regular parental contact, and where foster parents are quite clear about their role as caretakers on behalf of others, is likely to facilitate successful outcome. He argues that an 'exclusive' model encourages foster parents to perceive themselves as more like biological or adoptive parents.
First, undue emphasis has been placed on the mother-child relationship - the crucial factor is the quality of the relationship itself and other people may have more significance in this respect. Secondly, experience of multiple caretakers is not necessarily problematic provided the standard of care is good and caretaking individuals remain the same. Thirdly, separation, as such, is not usually the critical variable in causing distress or develop men tal problems. Difficulties may arise from multiple separations, particularly when combined with other negative factors, and the quality of relationships prior to separation will affect reactions to it.
Adoption and Fostering: Why and How by Carole R. Smith (auth.)