Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Worlds of Adoption Conference

At the Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus, a great overview of the New Worlds of Adoption Conference, which explored the intersection of research and policy. I was particularly intrigued by this part about adoptive parents and post-adoptive services:

Dr. David Brodzinsky, Professor Emeritus of Developmental and Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University, co-founding member and Senior Research fellow of the E.B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, thinks that there are unrealistic expectations placed on adoptive parents to understand their adopted children. He says that perhaps it is this that needs to be corrected before any solid strides can be made moving forward.

And while I do believe that these expectations may seem daunting, I don’t find them any more daunting than an expectation that if an adoptive parent decides to adopt transracially, then he/she should make an effort to understand the complexities and ramifications of raising a child of color in America. Perhaps it’s not the expectations that need to be reduced, but the methods and ways in which we educate parents both pre- and post-adoption.

Yet at the same time, Dr. Brodzinsky also brought up some important issues regarding the status of post-adoption services.
Read the whole list of problems, but these are a few that really struck a chord with me:

1) Inadequate Training of Professionals – Both for child development and in mental health capacities, professionals are just not being trained well enough to support the needs of adopted children and families. And as I mentioned before, he believes it’s hard to stay current on newly emerging research and intervention methods.

4) Adoption Issues vs Non-adoption Issues – He says that all too often, adoptive parents and clinicians make the mistake of either overly pathologizing their child’s perceived adoption-related issues, or downplaying its significance.

8) Inadequate Adoption Records – What information is available to adoptive parents at the time of adoption? Unfortunately, some parents are not given the complete story of their children and, as you can imagine, this can lead to problems later on.

10) Comfort Levels for Adoptive Parents – Adoptive parents still struggle to be open to understanding and discussing sensitive issues. Unrealistic goals, he explains may be a factor at play here.
Thanks a million-kajillion to KAD Nexus for bringing this information to us! Please. go read the whole thing. Lots to think about there.

1 comment:

Von said...

Very helpful issues to be brought up, let's hope they reach a wide audience and are taken seriously.