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Disruption in special needs adoptions : a British Columbia review Berland, Jeremy Quentin 1990

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DISRUPTION  IN S P E C I A L N E E D S  A BRITISH COLUMBIA  ADOPTIONS:  REVIEW  By Jeremy Quentin  Berland  B . S . W . , T h e U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ,  1981  A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE MASTER OF SOCIAL  OF  WORK  in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E (School of S o c i a l  W e a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as t o the r e q u i r e d  STUDIES  Work)  conforming  standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H AUGUST  COLUMBIA  1990  (c^Jeremy Q u e n t i n B e r l a n d ,  1990  OF  National Library of Canada  Bibliotheque nationale du Canada  Canadian Theses Service  Service des theses canadiennes  Ottawa. Canada K1A 0N4  The author has granted an irrevocable nonexclusive licence allowing the National Library of Canada to reproduce, loan, distribute or sell copies of his/her thesis by any means and in any form or format, making this thesis available to interested persons.  L'auteur a accorde une licence irrevocable et non exclusive * permettant a la Bibliotheque nationale du Canada de reproduce, preter, distribuer ou vendre des copies de sa these de quelque maniere et sous quelque forme que ce soit pour mettre des exemplaires de cette these a la disposition des personnes interessees.  The author retains ownership of the copyright in his/her thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without his/her permission.  L'auteur conserve la propriete du droit d'auteur qui protege sa these. Ni la these ni des extraits substantiels de celle-ci ne doivent etre imprimes ou autrement reproduits sans son autorisation.  ISBN 0-315-64073-1  Canada  In presenting degree  this  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  at the University of British Columbia,  freely available for reference and study. copying  of this thesis for scholarly  department  or  by  his  or  her  of  the  requirements  for  an  advanced  I agree that the Library shall make it  I further agree that permission for extensive  purposes  may be  representatives.  It  is  granted  by the head of my  understood  that  copying  or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  f ^ A - p S - t ^ o /CS  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  f o  11  ABSTRACT This paper d e s c r i b e s a study of the a d o p t i o n s of  82  "special needs" c h i l d r e n placed for a d o p t i o n in B r i t i s h Columbia b e t w e e n 1985 and 1989. The adoptions of 41 of children w e r e not c o m p l e t e d . T h i s study e x a m i n e s related to the c h i l d r e n p l a c e d for a d o p t i o n to those factors w h i c h appear to be related to adoptive  these  variables  determine  disrupted  placements.  The paper traces the d e v e l o p m e n t of a d o p t i o n h i s t o r y and reviews the findings of m a j o r r e s e a r c h in special needs adoption d i s r u p t i o n . Using the  through studies  findings  from the review and adding h y p o t h e s e s that appeared to be m i s s i n g from other studies, a file review schedule  was  developed. W i t h p e r m i s s i o n from the B.C. S u p e r i n t e n d e n t Family and Child Service, the schedule w a s used to the children's a d o p t i o n  of  review  files.  Analysis of the data obtained indicated that the age of the child at the time of adoption placement w a s a significant factor in adoption d i s r u p t i o n . In a d d i t i o n , age w h e n the child w a s legally free for adoption w a s  found  to be significant. In b o t h cases, the younger the child, lower the risk of disruption. A n additional  the  the  important  finding of this study is that children w h o are m e m b e r s of a sibling group are m o r e likely to have their  adoptions  completed than children without siblings and children alone.  placed  i i i  T h e p r e - c a r e e x p e r i e n c e s of c h i l d r e n w e r e t h o u g h t t o b e an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r in a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h e s t u d y that some e x p e r i e n c e s h a v e a s i g n i f i c a n t  effect,  t h o s e in w h i c h t h e e x t e n t of the b i o l o g i c a l  shows  notably  parents'  d i s a b i l i t y is c l e a r t o the c h i l d p r i o r t o the  adoption  p l a c e m e n t . T h e p r e s e n c e of m u l t i p l e s p e c i a l n e e d s w a s significantly  associated with disruption except  of b o y s i d e n t i f i e d The paper researchers,  identifying  implications  ability to withstand  studied  problems.  and and  their  s e r i o u s t r a u m a in t h e i r e a r l y y e a r s  f i n d i n g of the s t u d y . R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s  a d d r e s s i n g the f i n d i n g s s u g g e s t g r e a t e r e m p h a s i s maintaining  case  other  for p o l i c y  p r a c t i c e . T h e r e s i l i e n c e of the c h i l d r e n  an u n a n t i c i p a t e d  in the  as h a v i n g e m o t i o n a l / b e h a v i o u r a l  l i n k s t h e f i n d i n g s to t h o s e of  not  sibling attachment  for c h i l d r e n in  care,  f a m i l y and p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y , and b r o a d p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n adoption.  for  on  i n c r e a s e d e m p h a s i s o n a s s i s t i n g c h i l d r e n to u n d e r s t a n d  eliminate myths about special needs  is  their to  IV  T A B L E OF  CONTENTS  xi  ABSTRACT  viii  L I S T OF T A B L E S  x  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  1  INTRODUCTION  6  Hypotheses ADOPTION IN H I S T O R Y  <  11  Infanticide A d o p t i o n in Early  10  Civilizations  14  Religion Western Adoption Tradition D e v e l o p m e n t of A d o p t i o n A d o p t i o n Law in Canada A d o p t i o n in B r i t i s h REVIEW OF A D O P T I O N D I S R U P T I O N  12  . .  17  Laws . . . .  22 24  Columbia  32  LITERATURE  34  D e f i n i t i o n of T e r m s  34  Adoption Special N e e d s A d o p t i o n  16  . . . .  35 35  Adoption Disruption Review of L i t e r a t u r e on D i s r u p t i o n .  37 63  METHOD Subjects  64  Measures  66 .  67  Study  69  A d v a n t a g e s of document study D i s a d v a n t a g e s of Document File R e v i e w Instrument  72  V  V a l i d i t y and R e l i a b i l i t y  73  Data Analysis  7 5  .  Summary  .  77  7R  RESULTS Difference  in o u t c o m e b e t w e e n b o y s and g i r l s .  . .  80  Children placed with siblings  81  Contact with siblings  82  C h i l d r e n w h o are o l d e r  83  A g e w h e n l e g a l l y free  83  Age at p l a c e m e n t  87  F a m i l y of o r i g i n  91  R e t u r n s to B i o l o g i c a l F a m i l y  95  C h i l d r e n p l a c e d w i t h r e l a t i v e s or w i t h  long97  term f o s t e r p a r e n t s N u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s and t o t a l l e n g t h of  time  spent in f o s t e r h o m e s or g r o u p h o m e s  . .  98 98  N u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s T i m e in f o s t e r h o m e s and g r o u p h o m e s  103  R e a s o n for e n t e r i n g c a r e  107  (A) A b a n d o n e d  107  (B) P h y s i c a l l y abused  109  (C) S e x u a l l y abused  112  (D) E m o t i o n a l l y a b u s e d  113  (E) P a r e n t a l a l c o h o i a b u s e  114  (F) P a r e n t a l d r u g a b u s e  116  (G) R e l i n q u i s h e d b y b i o l o g i c a l p a r e n t  .  116  vi 117  (H) P a r e n t d e c e a s e d  118  (I) C h r o n i c n e g l e c t  119  (J) P a r e n t m e n t a l l y i l l (K) P a r e n t m e n t a l l y h a n d i c a p p e d (L) O t h e r  . . .  r e a s o n for e n t e r i n g c a r e  . .  .119  .120  Multiple Special Needs Post-placement  .119  .124  issues  128  DISCUSSION D i f f e r e n c e in o u t c o m e b e t w e e n b o y s and g i r l s  . .  129  Children placed with siblings I m p l i c a t i o n s for p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e  . . .  131 132  Contact with their siblings  133  C h i l d r e n w h o are o l d e r I m p l i c a t i o n s for p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e  . . .  135 137  F a m i l y of o r i g i n I m p l i c a t i o n s for p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e .  . . .  I m p l i c a t i o n s for p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e and t o t a l l e n g t h of  . . •  140  time 142  spent in f o s t e r h o m e s I m p l i c a t i o n s for p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e  . . .  144 145  Pre-care experiences  146  (A) A b a n d o n e d (B) P h y s i c a l l y abused  139 140  Children placed with relatives  N u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s  129  .  147  (C) S e x u a l l y abused  148  (D) E m o t i o n a l a b u s e  149  vxi (E) Parental alcohol abuse  (F) R e l i n q u i s h e d (G) Chronic neglect (H) Other reasons for entering care . . . Implications for policy and practice Children with multiple special needs Other observations Areas for further research Summary FOOTNOTES REFERENCES APPENDIX A - File Review Schedule  150 151 151 152 155 157  160 161 162 165 167 .172  T.I ST OF  TABLES  Table 1 Characteristics of d i s r u p t e d and c o m p l e t e d  groups  Table 2 Age W h e n L e g a l l y Free  (years) by  Gender  Table 3 Age w h e n L e g a l l y Free Sibling  (years) b y M e m b e r s h i p in a  Group  Table 4 Age at Placement  (years) by  Gender  Table 5 Age at Placement Sibling  (years) by M e m b e r s h i p in a  Group  Table 6 Y e a r s Spent Living W i t h B i o l o g i c a l F a m i l y b y Gender Table 7 Years Spent Living w i t h B i o l o g i c a l Family by M e m b e r s h i p in a Sibling  Group  Table 8 N u m b e r of Foster and Group Home Placements Gender  by  IX 1 0 2  Table N u m b e r of F o s t e r and G r o u p H o m e P l a c e m e n t s M e m b e r s h i p in a S i b l i n g Table  10  by  Group 1 0 5  . . . .  M o n t h s in F o s t e r and G r o u p H o m e P l a c e m e n t s  by  Gender 1 0 7  T a b l e 11 M o n t h s in F o s t e r and G r o u p H o m e P l a c e m e n t s M e m b e r s h i p in a S i b l i n g  by  Group  T a b l e 12  110-111  R e a s o n for e n t e r i n g care b y D i s r u p t e d Completed Groups, Controlling M e m b e r s h i p in a S i b l i n g Table  and  for G e n d e r  Group.  13  122-123  C h i l d ' s S p e c i a l N e e d s b y D i s r u p t e d and Adoptions  Controlling  for G e n d e r  M e m b e r s h i p in a S i b l i n g Table  and  Completed and  Group  14  126 - 127  Post-placement  Factors by Disrupted  Adoptions Controlling  and  for G e n d e r  M e m b e r s h i p in a S i b l i n g  Group  Completed  and  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  This paper is d e d i c a t e d w i t h love and a f f e c t i o n m y family for their e n d u r i n g support  to  and  encouragement over the past five y e a r s .  The assistance and guidance of m y  committee  m e m b e r s , M a d e l i n e Lovell and G l e n n Drover, b e e n invaluable. Their suggestions and  has  corrections  throughout have helped to m a k e this a m u c h m o r e readable and cogent work.  I am also d e e p l y indebted to the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t Family and Child Service, Leslie Arnold. M s . A r n o l d ' s approval and support, this  of  Without project  could not have been undertaken. The a s s i s t a n c e  of  the staff of the A d o p t i o n Section of the M i n i s t r y of Social Services and Housing is g r a t e f u l l y acknowledged.  1  INTRODUCTION  "Felton has iearned that one of the convicted killers had been taken from his mother at age seven months and cycled through foster homes until he was returned to his natural mother at sixteen. ' I think the community is partly at fault, I am partly at fault, for not doing enough,' he says 'This child had no lasting relationship since infancy. Nobody did anything for him. Maybe we should do more to help people..."(Kroll, 1990, p.13) As our society becomes increasingly complex, the importance of striving to make sense of the issues we are daily confronted with takes on added significance. The subtle inter-play between social forces is often at the heart of social problems. This paper examines the British Columbia perspective on one emerging issue - special needs adoption. More particularly, the paper reviews a smaller aspect: that of adoption disruption. Social workers in the child welfare arena feel experientally that adoptions frequently break down. Evidence for this is unclear, but the belief appears to be strongly held by many practitioners. The purpose of this study is to examine the adoption disruption phenomenon and to develop a picture of the types of situations where disruption is most likely to occur. Due to the nature of the problem, an interview with either adoptive parents or adopted children was not  2  considered appropriate for this level of enquiry. Better understanding of the problem is needed before one can begin to interview the participants in disrupted adoptions. The pain of the adoption breakdown and the impossibility of obtaining a complete sample led to a decision to use a file sampling technique to gather information about adoptions which disrupted. Permission was obtained from both the Superintendent of Family and Child Service and the Deputy Minister of Social Services and Housing to examine sealed adoption records. This permission was probably unique in Canada and certainly had not been granted before in British Columbia. Armed with such formidable access, there was initially great temptation to attempt to discover as much as possible about the dynamics of each adoption. However, such an approach tends to dilute the usefulness of research due to the very large number of possible variables. Accordingly, the factors chosen for analysis were those which relate directly to the child or children and the placement process. By conducting a thorough file review for each child, it was hoped that a profile of factors tending to lead to disruption might appear. Since the closed adoption records theoretically contain all of the known information about a child, including both primary and secondary sources, one can reasonably assume that a complete profile of the child could be developed.  The initial hypothesis of the research was that the pre-care experiences of the child coupled with placement history while in care, were critical factors in adoption outcome. Further reading in the disruption literature pointed to factors relating to the age of the child and to the presence or absence of siblings. While some studies have indicated that the child's sex is an important variable, there is no unanimity on this issue in the research. As the study was focussing retrospectively on the cases, it was possible to exclude the forecasting element that often forms a basis for adoption studies.  Such studies must develop  models for prediction and methods of testing the prediction that require observation over lengthy time periods. At the time of data collection for this study, the outcomes were already known. Thus, it was possible to identify any number of demographic variables and prepare summaries for each (eg: time in care, number of placements, nature of special need, number and location of siblings). This union of data collection need and file availability helped to ensure that the primary hypotheses could be tested. The conclusions of this study will contribute to the body of adoption knowledge generally, and be helpful to adoption workers in B.C. as they place special needs children for adoption. The study focusses exclusively on special needs children as this is the area which seems to be fraught with the greatest risk for both the child and the  4  adoptive parents. Disruption among healthy infants placed for adoption is very rare. As Kay Donley (1989) says, anyone can place a healthy infant for adoption, but it takes - special skill and expertise to place successfully a special needs child. This study will build on previous studies of its type and will seek to confirm the findings of other researchers. Since there are subtle differences between jurisdictions and among researchers with respect to definitions and practice, this study will be uniquely British Columbian in focus. For the purposes of this study, a special needs child is defined as any child with a physical or mental handicap and any child over the age of two years. Studies such as this may help to change the image of the special needs adoptive child by focussing on those special needs which present special challenges for placement. The theoretical propositions tested were all derived from an extensive literature review and discussions with Ministry of Social Services and Housing Adoption Section staff. The thesis is a simple one - that there are some characteristics of children whose placements have disrupted which are common to the group, and which may highlight those placements most at risk of disruption. The particular focus of this study is the identification of child related variables which affect the outcome of special needs adoption placements.As indicated in  5  the chapters to follow, adoption is a social practice which has existed and evolved for centuries. Until the supply of healthy infants was exhausted in the late 1960's, adoption was primarily a vehicle to satisfy the needs of parties other than the children involved. In ancient times, adoption was a means to guarantee title and ownership of property. Later, it became a means to enter wealthy families and improve one's rank in society. Still later, adoption fell out of favour when the large church organizations took in abandoned children to nurture fidelity to the church itself. Childless couples met their desire for family by adopting the relinquished child. The placement of children from urban areas, while motivated by good intentions, led to exploitation of some of those children in the farms and households where they were placed. The history of adoption, as described below, is not always an attractive account. The growth of the permanency planning movement finally began to focus attention on the needs of the children as a primary consideration beyond those of any other party to adoption. Rather than seeking to provide children for families, the goal became finding families for children. This shift in perspective was necessitated by the needs of the children available for placement, as well as the recognition by social workers of the obligations they faced as guardians of these children. Previous studies of adoption outcome examined the 'success or failure' of the adoption as  6  measured through the eyes of the adoptive parents. There was little in the literature to suggest that the children themselves might have something to say about their situation. The permanency planning movement changed this perception. In a similar vein, researchers began to look at the factors that contribute to successful adoption of special needs children. This shift from adoptive parents' needs or agency needs to children's needs is critical to the study of adoption disruption. Adoption of special needs children is but one element in a continuum of child welfare services provided in most post-industrial countries. Adoption fits into that continuum near the end of a long line of services to families and children. The services include: family planning information, pre and post-natal care, community drug and alcohol awareness programs, child abuse prevention programs in schools, parenting training programs, family counseling programs, crisis intervention programs, transition houses, subsidized housing programs, child protective services, child guardianship, and finally adoption services. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but serves to indicate that adoption does not exist in isolation from other programs in the community. A number of these services have probably been provided to special needs children and their families of origin. Since special needs children are, by definition, older, we  7  can assume that most have lived with their family of origin for some period of time. Whether it is possible to correlate broad descriptions of care received prior to entering care by the state is one of the questions posed by this research. Ultimately, the research question becomes one of prediction and assessment of cases. Hypotheses A set of hypotheses was developed, based on a careful review of previous adoption disruption studies and related literature. In addition, the gaps in previous studies were identified and hypotheses developed to answer some of those questions, e.g. the effect of pre-care experiences on adoption, the effect of contact with siblings.The following hypotheses are posed in this research project. Some additional issues are considered, such as post-placement factors, but the following items form the core of the discussion: 1)  There will be no significant difference in outcome  between boys and girls. 2)  Children placed with siblings will be likely to  experience fewer disruptions. 3)  Children who are able to maintain contact with siblings  are more likely to experience fewer disruptions. 4)  The disrupted group will be marked by children who are  older at the age when legally free and older at the time of placement.  8  5)  The length of time that a child spends with his/her  family of origin will inversely affect outcome. 6)  Children placed with relatives or with long-term foster  parents will not experience disruption at the same rate as those children placed with 'strangers'. 7)  The number of placements and total length of time spent  in foster homes or group homes prior to placement will inversely affect outcome. 8)  The pre-care experiences of children will affect  adoption outcome. Those children with histories of physical and sexual abuse will fare poorly in adoption. 9)  Children with multiple special needs will face  more disruptions. By placing adoption in a broad historical perspective and linking that view to modern developments, the study will demonstrate the continually evolving nature of this familial event. At this stage of awareness of the needs of children in state care, it is vital that we refine our knowledge of those components that will lead to permanent families. We must develop a clear consensus of the fundamental core issues and develop a shared language for describing the adoption experience.  9  The following chapter reviews the history of adoption. By placing it in a larger historical perspective, adoption can be seen as an evolutionary process which has experienced a great many changes in focus over the years. The third chapter discusses the literature on special needs adoption in general and focusses particularly on those studies concerned with special needs adoption disruption. Chapter Four describes the methods used in this study and the theoretical underpinnings for those methods. The fifth chapter presents the findings of this study and links them to the hypotheses presented in Chapter Three. The final chapter addresses the results and examines them in light of previous studies and offers explanations for the findings. This study will add to the existing body of knowledge about special needs adoption by identifying those factors or combinations of factors which may be indicative of children at risk of adoption disruption. The study will also present a profile of the special needs children placed for adoption in British Columbia.  10  A D O P T I O N IN  HISTORY  Sargon, the mighty king, King of Akkad, am I. My mother was a vestal, my father I knew not ... In mv city, Azupirani, which is situated on the banK of the Euphrates, my mother, the vestal, bore me. In a hidden place she brought me forth. She laid me in a vessel made of reeds, closed my door with pitch and dropped me down into the river, which did not drown me. The river carried me to Akki, the water carrier. Akki the water carrier raised me as his own son. Akki the water carrier made of me his gardener. In my work as gardener I was beloved by Istar, I became the king, and for forty-five years I held kingly sway. (Kadushin & Martin, 1988, p.534)  It has become commonplace that the face of adoption has recently changed - that healthy white infants are no longer available for childless couples. However, placed in its larger, historical perspective, this development can be seen as simply another stage in the adoption cycle. Adoption itself is a practice recorded in the earliest annals of our history. Benet (1976), in carefully tracing the development of adoption, makes the point that the practice of adoption can be traced to our earliest history. She refers to the legendary founders of the City of Rome, Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a wolf, and to Moses saved from the river and raised as her own by the daughter of a Pharaoh. Kadushin and Martin (1988) refer to Sargon as quoted above. The Bible is replete with references to adoption and the  11  care of children. For the ancients, at least, adoption seem to have been a way to set apart the leaders and to erect elaborate veils of mystery around them. "Their founders must be seen as belonging unequivocally to the new order rather than to the old, and one way to achieve this discontinuity is to make a mystery of their parentage and the circumstances of their birth." (Benet, 1976, p. 22) Infanticide The practice of infanticide was certainly the more common manner of dealing with children born with some defect, or those whose parents had died, or children the family could not afford. Adoption seems largely to have been the practice of the ruling classes in ancient times. Infanticide at birth or infant exposure was common among all classes and was practiced on a very wide scale in all parts of the world. "The child who was worth rearing was 'born in due time' was 'perfect in all its parts' and had a vigorous cry." (Kadushin & Martin,1988 p. 37) The practice of child abandonment, while often resulting in death, also resulted in children being sold or taken into slavery and prostitution. The practice appears to have been motivated primarily by economic concerns for the family of origin. Our folk and fairy tale literature provides ample reference to the practice.1 The advent of Christianity with its respect for the sanctity of life began to slow the rate of infanticide, but the practice  12  continued until the 1800's in Europe. In some parts of the world the practice continues to the present day. Adoption in Early Civilizations Adoption as an alternative to infanticide was not an option for the same economic reasons that led to the practice of exposing children. However adoption is known to have been practised since at least the time of Sargon in Babylon, 2800 B.C. Economic more than social reasons were also the basis for adoption when it was practised. The ownership of property and succession rights were generally the concerns underlying adoptions in ancient times. Usually these were adoptions of desirable older children or young adults. Although family was seen as the preferred arena for adoption in these circumstances, the adoption process was viewed as an arrangement between two sets of parents to facilitate arrangements for property holdings. Distinctions were generally drawn between 'physical paternity' and 'social paternity'. These distinctions reflected the male role in property ownership. In many cultures, the survival of the family group, complete with its property and values, was all important. It was imperative to ensure continuity by either procreation or incorporation into the family unit. The economic or inheritance concerns of the parent (usually the father) and the selection of a male heir were the primary factors in a decision to adopt. If an heir was  13  not available due to death or infertility, adoption was considered. The cradle of Western Civilization, the Tigris/Euphrates Valley, was the home of the oldest written law which mentions adoption. The Code of Hammurabi was an !  attempt to identify some of the potential pitfalls of adoption. "It deals with some of the risks inherent in every adoption: that the adoptive parents will treat the child differently from a natural child; that the child will suffer  |  from a change of caretaker; and that the adopted child and  I  family will be unsuited to each other." (Benet, 1976, p. 23)  ij  I j  The Hammurabic Code also contains provisions for wet-nursing and apprenticeship. Valid social reasons for adoption  |  existed in Ancient Babylon just as they did in other parts  |  of the world then (and now). It is significant that  |  Hammurabi foresaw the inter-personal difficulties adoption  I  can pose even though adoption existed for more explicit economic reasons such as owning of property, passing on a title, and establishing claim to an improved position in society. The nomadic desert tribes had little property to pass on other than livestock. Adoption was not practised by the Israelites, although other forms of "heir assurance" were undertaken such as legitimation, fathering children by concubines and the "law of levirate". The latter practice is defined as "the custom among the Jews and some other nations by which the brother or next of kin to a deceased man was  14  bound under certain circumstances to marry the widow" (O.E.D., 1971) - and by extension to care for his children. The Roman and ancient Chinese traditions provided for the adoption of both children and adults. This was chiefly to maintain the ancestor cults but also developed as a means to consolidate a power base or, in the case of adults, to develop a more aristocratic lineage. Goody (1969) reports that "from Julius Caesar and Augustus onwards, a considerable number of emperors, failing to beget sons, adopted them instead" (p.60). As with many other early cultures, adoption was almost solely concerned with the preservation of the male line. A notable exception was the Chinese practice of adoption of a future daughter-in-law, pledged early in life to marry. By placing her into her future family, her own family saved often scarce resources. In all of the early societies described above, adoption was primarily the purview of the wealthy. The poor, with no property or inheritance rights to speak of, were more likely to turn to infanticide or abandonment as a solution to the economic problems they faced with children. Religion Among the religions which have developed from the nomadic tribes, Judaism did not embrace the concept of adoption for inheritance purposes. There was, however, a tradition of caring for orphaned and needy children within the community. Islam remains strongly opposed to adoption.  15  This conviction rests on several bases: Allah knows all truth and therefore cannot be misled by the fiction of adoption; there is a patriarchal tradition wherein children can be legitimated by recognition; divorce is uncomplicated; polygamy is common; and women are in a subservient position. The Christian institutions, most notably the Catholic church, have presented conflicting positions on adoption over the centuries. One of the foremost concerns of most organized religions is the bedrock need to ensure the preservation and continuance of the institution itself. Adoption to the church therefore, was, favoured as a recruitment technique over adoption by individual families. As a result of the Christian churches' disapproval of infanticide, children were placed in institutions, monasteries, convents, hospitals and orphanages across Europe. Once placed, they were encouraged to stay within the organization (other possibilities being severely limited) and were inculcated to its traditions and needs. While Kadushin and Martin (1988) take the view that the establishment of institutions for the care of children was based on a societal obligation to provide an alternative to infanticide, Benet (1976) strongly suggests that there was a powerful element of self-interest in the churches' willingness to do so. It may be that both views are historically accurate, the one complementing the other. Benet's (1976) portrait of church as parent, caring for its  16  young and leaving them a legacy of work to do certainly fits with the inheritance basis of adoption of the early civilizations. Western Adoption Tradition One cannot minimize the importance of inheritance and property rights as a major factor in the development of formalized adoption laws. With the fall of Rome and the predominance of the northern tribes - a more nomadic group than the inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin whom they vanquished - much of the established social order of Southern Europe fell into disorder. The Christian church remained relatively intact and began a period of growth which led to the establishment of many large institutions. Apart from the organized activities of the larger churches, there was no legal adoption tradition in Europe until the late 19th Century. Feudal ties in Europe established that property rights (including care and control of children) were vested in the local feudal chief. The twin developments of a feudal state and a large Christian church established rules by which the custody of children was to be governed until the 19th Century. Under the feudal system, inheritance was no longer a family matter but one which the feudal chief conferred. Property was held only at his pleasure for the lifetime of its owner. On his death, property reverted to the chief. Kinship ties became subject to the needs and demands of the feudal state. (Trappings of  17  this system are extant today in Great Britain. Entailed estates still exist where property, by law, must be passed on through the blood line. If no direct descendant of the previous title holder is living, the search for a blood relative must go back a generation to the descendants of the previous title holder. The perception that adoption presented a threat to blood or family ties acted to delay the enactment of any formal adoption statute in England until 1926.) Goody (1969) notes that adoption was rarely considered to be a service concerned with the well-being of children. He traces the development of adoption through several cultures (as does Benet [1976]) and provides overwhelming evidence of adoption in the forms and for the purposes described above. Goody refers to three distinct functions of adoption as identified through his comparative survey: (i)  to provide homes for orphans, bastards, foundlings and the children of impaired families;  (ii)  to provide childless couples with social progeny;  (iii) to provide an individual or couple with an heir to their property. (Goody, 1969, p. 57) Development of Adoption Laws In both its common law and legislative history, adoption holds a place within a broader framework of laws  5452  relating to property (as described above) and guardianship. While this latter factor was dealt with extensively in some early law, it became largely a matter for the common law in England and other European countries up until the early years of the twentieth century. Developments through the Middle Ages as the feudal, ecclesiastical and common law developed led to ten types of guardianship: 1)  In chivalry ... the right of a feudal lord to  services of his tenant as soldier or knight ... thus the lord was entitled to recompense in the form of service by the heir of his tenant in the event of the tenant's death. 2)  In socage ("the holding of lands in  consideration of ... services of husbandry" ) similar to above but land-based. The child heir of a deceased tenant could be made the ward of his "nearest relative to whom the estate could not descend" and was allowed advice and guidance. The obligation was maintained to the feudal lord for service but the inheritance of property on reaching age fourteen was maintained. 3)  By nature and for nurture - "by nature applied  to the eldest son who —  was sole heir —  nurture extended to the other children."  by  4)  Ecclesiastical - orders could be made for  guardianship of both the young person and the estate. 5)  By special custom - guardianship arrangements  peculiar to specific manors 6)  By election of the infant.  7)  By prerogative - applied to members of royal  families only. 8)  Ami prochein and ad litem - orders made for  the duration of legal action in which a young person was involved - had no effect on custody or estate management. 9)  Testamentary or statutory, and  10) Chancery England in  -  Feudal tenures were abolished in  1660, thus eliminating certain forms  of guardianship. By this act,the father was given "absolute authority to dispose of... custody after his death." (Clarke, 1957, p. 260-262) In describing previous theories about the reasons for the development of codified adoption law, Goody places such developments in a broader perspective, utilizing the three functions described above. In particular, Goody contrasts his findings with those of Maine (1931). Maine postulated that adoption was a manifestation of "the major long-term change in man's (sic) political development as the evolution of society from one based on kinship to one based on  20  contiguity. Adoption is seen as a mechanism in the process of transition, a legal fiction that permitted the revolution to take place imperceptibly." (Goody, 1969, p. 68-69) However, this mechanism provided few benefits for the child. Benefits to be gained from adoption, if there were any, accrued to the adoptive parent. Benet (1976), Kadushin and Martin (1988) and Tizard (1977) suggest that, historically adoption was primarily concerned with the wealthy and privileged class. Further, its central focus was on the needs of the adopting male parent. Emotional or social considerations respecting the children, their mother, or the adopters' wives were rarely taken into account. Adoption does not enjoy a body of common law history. Formal adoption laws were not written in European countries until the early decades of this century. North American adoption law is generally considered to have its roots on legislation first passed in either Texas or Massachusetts in 1851.2 Kadushin and Martin (1988) suggest that the development of such laws (prompted perhaps by socio-economic forces springing from the industrial revolution ) were "probably delayed by the development of the relation between master and apprentice so that orphans and children of indigent parents could be bound out to obtain care in this way" (p.535). The former colonies of England enacted specific adoption legislation before the 'mother of Parliaments' did.  21  To some degree, this was required because social pressures due to massive immigration and the lack of an established social structure (such as church organizations, poor houses, large estates, extended family) led to few resources for children. Here again, child welfare legislation, in its broadest sense, can be seen as an attempt to cope with social pressures in the community. The American states were far ahead of the British House of Commons in identifying the need for adoption codes. While the early statutes lacked the legal complexity of later laws, they apparently shared some common characteristics: "a requirement that both biological parents consent; a joint petition by both adoptive parents; judicial review and decision; and complete severance of the relationship between biological parents and the child" (Kadushin & Martin, 1988, p.535) . The United States adopted specific legislation relating to children prior to 1900 while Britain, Canada and Australia lagged far behind. This is not to say, however, that similar institutions were not developed in these countries despite the legislative deficiency. In addition, and sadly, the poor house flourished as a resource for children until the abolition of Poor Law principles in the late 1800's. The investigative review of prospective adoptive parents was not fully institutionalized in adoption  22  legislation in the United States until the mid-1930's. Even then, adoption remained primarily the purview of the adopters - the children awaiting adoption were displayed for selection. Due to the excesses of this practice attention was devoted to standards for adoption and the requirement to provide a service to adoptive parents and children. The Child Welfare League of America published its standard for adoption practice in 1938. Adoption Law in Canada Adoption legislation in Canada dates from an 1873 New Brunswick statute. The British Columbia Adoption Act dates from 1920 and has been amended several times, most recently in 1990. Across Canada each province developed its own legislation concerning the protection and adoption of children. By the mid 1920's, all provinces with the exception of Newfoundland had both child protection legislation and adoption legislation enacted. However, the services mandated by these acts were originally provided by private societies whose activities were largely confined to the urban areas. The development of new legislation required provincial governments to become more involved in the delivery of child welfare services generally. This required that provinces ensure that both rural and urban services were developed. In British Columbia, as in many other provinces, this resulted in a provincial government delivery system in areas  23 outside Vancouver  and V i c t o r i a .  societies delivered  In the large c i t i e s ,  private  child welfare services. However,  provincial bureaucracy was required  to b e e s t a b l i s h e d  o r d e r to r e g u l a t e and c o n t r o l the a d o p t i o n  legislation  w e r e c o n s i d e r i n g the a c t s to b e for t h e a d o p t i o n of i n f a n t s and not the m e n t a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y o l d e r and s p e c i a l n e e d s c h i l d r e n . H e p w o r t h  healthy  handicapped, (1980)  reports  in t h e f i r s t h a l f of t h e  century had two primary objectives:  in  service.  T h e d r a f t e r s of t h e e a r l y C a n a d i a n a d o p t i o n  that a d o p t i o n l e g i s l a t i o n  a  twentieth  1) "The p r o m o t i o n of  w e l f a r e of a d o p t e d c h i l d r e n in p a r t t h r o u g h r e m o v a l of s t i g m a a t t a c h i n g to such t e r m s as b a s t a r d y illegitimacy",  and 2) "the c l a r i f i c a t i o n  legal  ... n a t u r a l  legal a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s , thus m a k i n g the r i g h t s of to p r o p e r t y m o r e c e r t a i n "  (Hepworth,  1980, p.  and  succession  131).  W h i l e H e p w o r t h is u n d o u b t e d l y c o r r e c t , H o g g e t t Pearl  the  and  of the  r e l a t i o n s h i p of the a d o p t e d c h i l d t o b o t h  the  and  (1983) q u o t i n g T i z a r d r e f l e c t o n o t h e r p o s s i b l e  drives  for the p r o m o t i o n of a d o p t i o n - "the p r i m a r y p u r p o s e of  the  a d o p t i o n is seen t o b e the s a t i s f a c t i o n of t h e d e s i r e of a m a r r i e d c o u p l e to r e a r a child; at the same t i m e , a h o m e p r o v i d e d for a c h i l d w h o s e n a t u r a l p a r e n t s are u n a b l e rear it"  (Hoggett & P e a r l , 1983, p .  is  to  487).  A d o p t i o n is b o t h a legal and a s o c i a l p r o c e s s .  Ignoring  one at the e x p e n s e of the other is a c o m m o n t h e m e in b o t h the l i t e r a t u r e and p r a c t i c e , one s u s p e c t s . It is  clear,  24 h o w e v e r , that t h e l e g a l and s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s adoption have changed over the past eighty A d o p t i o n in B r i t i s h  associated  years.  Columbia  Since this project  is c o n c e r n e d e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h  British Columbia adoption picture, the following history will trace adoption  legislation  in B . C .  r e f e r e n c e t o t h e larger C a n a d i a n p i c t u r e as MacDonald requirements  with  the  brief with  required.  (1984) h a s s u m m a r i z e d t h e f o l l o w i n g  for a d o p t i o n w h i c h are c o m m o n in  legal  Canada:  1) T h e a d o p t i v e p a r e n t ... m u s t c o m e w i t h i n one t h e c a t e g o r i e s of p e r s o n s e l i g i b l e to a d o p t . . .  of  2) T h e r e m u s t b e a v a l i d w r i t t e n c o n s e n t to a d o p t i o n signed by the n a t u r a l p a r e n t s ... the n a t u r a l m o t h e r only, if u n m a r r i e d ; and the D i r e c t o r of C h i l d W e l f a r e o n l y , if the c h i l d is a p e r m a n e n t w a r d . A c o n s e n t is a l s o r e q u i r e d from t h e a d o p t e d c h i l d if she h a s a t t a i n e d a m i n i m u m age, w h i c h v a r i e s from s e v e n y e a r s in O n t a r i o to t w e l v e y e a r s in m o s t o t h e r p r o v i n c e s . N o a d o p t i o n c o n s e n t is v a l i d u n l e s s the c h i l d is a m i n i m u m n u m b e r of d a y s old at its s i g n i n g . T h i s v a r i e s in the r e s p e c t i v e s t a t u t e s from four d a y s in t h e N o r t h w e s t T e r r i t o r i e s t o f o u r t e e n d a y s in P r i n c e Edward Island. 3) T h e child to b e a d o p t e d m u s t n o r m a l l y h a v e in the a d o p t i o n h o m e for a p e r i o d of at least months...  been six  4) T h e r e m u s t b e a report p r e p a r e d for the c o u r t , u n d e r the a u t h o r i t y of the p r o v i n c i a l D i r e c t o r of Child W e l f a r e , a s s e s s i n g the m e r i t s of the_ p r o p o s e d a d o p t i o n and m a k i n g a r e c o m m e n d a t i o n t o the c o u r t . 5) T h e p r o s p e c t i v e a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s m u s t p e t i t i o n a judge for a d o p t i o n of the c h i l d , d e c l a r i n g their r e a d i n e s s to a s s u m e on a p e r m a n e n t b a s i s f u l l parental responsibilities. 6) T h e judge, after c o n s i d e r i n g the c o n t e n t s the a d o p t i o n p e t i t i o n and the report of the  of  25 D i r e c t o r of C h i l d W e l f a r e , m u s t b e s a t i s f i e d p r i o r t o m a k i n g an a d o p t i o n o r d e r t h a t t h e a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s p o s s e s s the a b i l i t y and c a p a c i t y to g u i d e , m a i n t a i n , and e d u c a t e the c h i l d p r o p e r l y . H e m u s t a l s o b e c o n v i n c e d t h a t the p r o p o s e d a d o p t i o n w i l l b e in the b e s t i n t e r e s t s of the a d o p t e e . (MacDonald, 1984, p . 4 3 - 4 4 ) British Columbia's adoption legislation dates from and w a s t i t l e d  "An A c t r e s p e c t i n g  the A d o p t i o n of  1920  Children".  T h i s e a r l y A c t " c o n t a i n e d n o p r o v i s i o n for s e c r e c y  of  adoption records. No report to the court was required on f i t n e s s of the a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s , a l t h o u g h n o t i c e application  ... w a s r e q u i r e d  Superintendent  of N e g l e c t e d  to b e s e r v e d on Children."  p.45) The Adoption Act was amended  of N e g l e c t e d  of  the  (MacDonald,  1984,  in 1935 and p r o v i d e d  the " s e c r e c y of d o c u m e n t s " . T h e n e w A c t r e q u i r e d Superintendent  the  C h i l d r e n to "cause  for  the  investigation  to b e m a d e as to: (a) T h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s petitioner:  and c h a r a c t e r of  (b) T h e f i t n e s s of the p e t i t i o n e r parentage by adoption:  to  the  assume  (c) T h e f i t n e s s of the u n m a r r i e d m i n o r adoption:  for  (d) T h e m e n t a l and p h y s i c a l f i t n e s s of unmarried minor's natural parents. (R.S.B.C. 1936, C h a p t e r 6)  the  In t h e e a r l y s t a g e s of d e v e l o p m e n t  of s o c i a l  programs  in B . C . , c h i l d w e l f a r e s e r v i c e s w e r e p r o v i d e d in the  two  large u r b a n a r e a s b y p r i v a t e s o c i e t i e s and in the rest of the p r o v i n c e b y a c e n t r a l i z e d p r o v i n c i a l  government  department. However, jurisdictions, intricately  as in o t h e r p r o v i n c e s  and  early child welfare policy was not  as  i n t e r w o v e n w i t h a d o p t i o n p o l i c y as is n o w  the  case. T h e r e are few a c c o u n t s of p r o v i n c i a l a d o p t i o n b e t w e e n e n a c t m e n t of the o r i g i n a l l e g i s l a t i o n  policy  in 1 9 2 0  and  its w h o l e s a l e r e v i s i o n in 1 9 5 7 . H o w e v e r , a m e n d m e n t s  between  those years clarified  example,  and r e g u l a t e d  the 1936 a m e n d m e n t s s t i p u l a t e d  s o m e a r e a s . For  that t h e c h i l d h a d to  r e s i d e d w i t h the a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s for at least o n e p r i o r to the a p p l i c a t i o n to the C o u r t . T h e r i g h t s of c h i l d r e n w e r e a l s o c l a r i f i e d  requirement  year  inheritance  in the 1936  In 1957, a n e w a d o p t i o n c o d e w a s b r o u g h t provincial  have  in b y  l e g i s l a t u r e . T h e 1957 A c t m a i n t a i n e d  the  the  that t h e child r e s i d e w i t h the a d o p t i v e  for at least o n e y e a r p r i o r t o the h e a r i n g d a t e .  Act.  parents  An  a m e n d m e n t in 1964 r e d u c e d this r e q u i r e m e n t t o six m o n t h s . T h i s s e c t i o n h a s not s u b s e q u e n t l y b e e n MacDonald  amended.  (1984) p o i n t s to t h i s n e w A c t as s e t t i n g  a  new s t a n d a r d for c l a r i f y i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p of a d o p t e e a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s . In light of e a r l i e r c o n f u s i o n and  to  concern  about i n h e r i t a n c e and p r o p e r t y r i g h t s , this m a y b e seen  as  b o t h a p o s i t i v e and y e t c o n f o u n d i n g d e v e l o p m e n t .  "It w a s  s p e c i f i c a l l y d e c l a r e d that u p o n a d o p t i o n a c h i l d  'for  p u r p o s e s ' b e c a m e the child of h i s a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s and  all 'for  27 all purposes'  c e a s e d to b e t h e c h i l d of h i s  parents."(MacDonald,  1984,  natural  p.47)  T h i s l e g a l n e c e s s i t y w a s later to b e c o m e a d e v e l o p m e n t d u e to s o c i e t a l c h a n g e s , w h i c h d e m a n d s for  'right to k n o w '  confounding  led t o  increased  legislation by adoptees,  and  the c h a n g i n g d e m o g r a p h i c p i c t u r e of a d o p t i o n . L a t e r  conflict  about the p l a c e of the a d o p t e d c h i l d in t h e f a m i l y and society was reflected Children's Law  in t h e R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n o n F a m i l y  and  (1975). T h e C o m m i s s i o n r e c o m m e n d e d a b e t t e r  b l e n d i n g of l e g i s l a t i o n p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h  the  p r o t e c t i o n and w e l f a r e of c h i l d r e n .  it  the i n t e r - f a c e b e t w e e n a d o p t i o n ,  In so d o i n g ,  state guardianship  c h i l d p r o t e c t i o n . A m o n g the r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s m a d e to the c o n f o u n d i n g of g u a r d i a n s h i p ,  i s s u e s r e l a t i n g t o t h e q u e s t i o n of adoptees'  tackled and address cessation  s e a r c h for f a m i l y of o r i g i n s  s u b s i d y p a y m e n t s t o p a r e n t s of s p e c i a l n e e d s c h i l d r e n the  in  and  were  following:  1) Where parental rights have been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated and the Superintendent has permanent guardianship of the child . . . such termination of parental rights should include termination of the requirement to obtain the consents of the parents to the adoption of the child . . . . 23) T h e b e s t p o s s i b l e d a t a b a s e should b e e s t a b l i s h e d for e a c h child to i n c l u d e the o b s t e t r i c a l h i s t o r y and a l l s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s r e l a t i n g to the m o t h e r , her p r e g n a n c y and her offspring . . . . 27) N e w l e g i s l a t i o n should r e q u i r e that a w r i t t e n s u m m a r y of n o n - i d e n t i f y i n g b a c k g r o u n d i n f o r m a t i o n b e g i v e n to all a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s at the time of  placement the p a s t  and . . . . . . .  to t h o s e w h o h a v e a d o p t e d  28) T h e a p p l i c a t i o n s b y a d o p t e d p e r s o n s for d i s c l o s u r e of i d e n t i f y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t n a t u r a l p a r e n t s or o t h e r r e l a t i v e s s h o u l d b e o n l y to the S u p r e m e C o u r t . . . .  in  made  35) W h e r e the b e s t i n t e r e s t s of a c h i l d w i l l b e served b y b e i n g a d o p t e d b y a p a r t i c u l a r a d o p t o r and t h e a d o p t i o n w o u l d not b e p o s s i b l e w i t h o u t subsidization, the Superintendent should be able to e n t e r into an a g r e e m e n t w i t h t h e p r o s p e c t i v e a d o p t o r s t o p r o v i d e f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e as n e e d e d to the a d o p t i v e f a m i l y . (British C o l u m b i a , 1975, summary) T h e R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n w a s v e r y far r e a c h i n g , m a k i n g r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s in the area of a d o p t i o n a l o n e . c h a n g e s h a v e a l r e a d y r e n d e r e d s o m e of t h o s e  Societal  recommendations  out of d a t e . For e x a m p l e , t r a n s f e r of g u a r d i a n s h i p to Superintendent  53  on s i g n i n g of a d o p t i o n c o n s e n t s  is  the  current  p r a c t i c e . It is a l s o now M i n i s t r y p o l i c y t h a t t h e c o n s e n t  of  the n a t u r a l f a t h e r m u s t b e o b t a i n e d . W h e r e t h i s is n o t p o s s i b l e , the i s s u e of the lack of the f a t h e r ' s c o n s e n t b e a d d r e s s e d b y the S u p e r i n t e n d e n t  in h e r r e p o r t to  the  c o u r t . O t h e r s are o n l y n o w s e e i n g f r u i t i o n - a t r i b u t e the v i s i o n of the Regarding  must  to  Commissioners.  some of the o t h e r r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s ,  w o u l d a r g u e that an a d o p t i o n r e g i s t r y  few  is u n n e c e s s a r y  f r i v o l o u s . Y e t , the c o m m i s s i o n in 1975 c o u l d not  today or  recommend  e v e n a p a s s i v e r e g i s t r y b a s e d o n the e v i d e n c e b e f o r e it at the time. R e c e n t c h a n g e s to the A d o p t i o n Act and the V i t a l S t a t i s t i c s Act r e s u l t e d in the c r e a t i o n of a p a s s i v e  29 adoption registry. While this does not yet meet the of a d o p t e e s for f u l l d i s c l o s u r e of i n f o r m a t i o n , forward. Similarly,  the provincial government  it is a  "assisted  is t o o n e w to m e a s u r e  any  i m p a c t , t h i s is an e n c o u r a g i n g d e v e l o p m e n t . T h e F a m i l y Child S e r v i c e A c t  (1981) e n s h r i n e d o t h e r  R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n and m o d e r n i z e d Act. Further overhauling  suggestions  t h e P r o t e c t i o n of  and m o d e r n i z i n g  and  of  the  Children  of the A d o p t i o n  h a s b e e n p l a n n e d for some t i m e b u t h a s not y e t  Act  materialized.  R e c e n t l y a n n o u n c e d c h a n g e s w i l l a m e n d the l e g i s l a t i o n control private  step  recently  a n n o u n c e d a m e n d m e n t s to t h e A d o p t i o n A c t t o p e r m i t adoptions". While the program  demands  to  adoptions.  T h e l e g i s l a t i v e a r e n a is n o t t h e o n l y f o c u s of in the a d o p t i o n f i e l d . R a t h e r ,  l e g i s l a t i o n and p o l i c y  h a d to c h a n g e t o m a i n t a i n p a c e w i t h d e v e l o p m e n t s at l a r g e . H e p w o r t h  change  (1980) d e t a i l s  in  has  society  some of t h e s e c h a n g e s  h i s a n a l y s i s of the d e c l i n i n g b i r t h r a t e  in  Canada.  In 1959, a r e c o r d n u m b e r of c h i l d r e n w e r e b o r n in C a n a d a : 4 7 9 , 0 0 0 ; of t h e s e i n f a n t s 20,000 w e r e b o r n out of w e d l o c k and 7 , 0 0 0 of t h e s e w e r e b o r n to m o t h e r s u n d e r 20 y e a r s of age. In 1 9 5 9 - 6 0 t h e r e w e r e 12,800 a d o p t i o n s . B y 1969 the t o t a l n u m b e r of b i r t h s f e l l to 3 7 0 , 0 0 0 , b u t the n u m b e r of i l l e g i t i m a t e b i r t h s rose to 34,000 and in 1979 r e a c h e d the h i g h e s t r e c o r d e d p o i n t of 3 5 , 6 0 0 . In 1 9 6 9 - 7 0 and 1 9 7 0 - 7 1 a d o p t i o n s also r e a c h e d a p e a k , 20,300 and 20,500 r e s p e c t i v e l y . . • b i r t h s r e a c h e d a low of 3 4 3 , 0 0 0 in 1973 and t h e n rose to 359,000 in 1975 and 365,000 in 1976. A d o p t i o n s f o l l o w e d a similar p a t t e r n b u t r e a c h e d a low of 14,600 in 1975-76 b e f o r e r i s i n g a g a i n in 1 9 7 6 - 7 7 to 16,200. (p. 132)  in  30 T h e d e c l i n i n g b i r t h rate and s u b s e q u e n t d e c l i n e a v a i l a b i l i t y of h e a l t h y critical factors that  in  i n f a n t s for a d o p t i o n are a m o n g  led to t h e d r i v e for p l a c e m e n t  the the  of  c h i l d r e n w i t h s p e c i a l n e e d s . T h e r e a s o n s for the d e c l i n e n u m b e r s of i n f a n t s h a v e b e e n w e l l - d o c u m e n t e d : social values about single parenthood,  changing  easier access  birth control, more access to abortion, expanded  to  social  p r o g r a m s for t e e n a g e p a r e n t s , as w e l l as the d e c l i n e n u m b e r of w o m e n of c h i l d - b e a r i n g  in  in the  age in the p o p u l a t i o n  at  large.  However, it is not merely the quest for children that h a s s p u r r e d the d e v e l o p m e n t  of p r o g r a m s for a d o p t i o n  children with special needs. The permanency  of  planning  movement has been growing across the Western democracies s i n c e at least the e a r l y 1 9 6 0 ' s . It w a s the c o n v e r g e n c e public opinion  (perhaps d u e t o the d e a r t h of  healthy  infants) with social policy research which pushed planning  i n t o the  of  permanency  forefront.  D u r i n g t h e 1 9 6 0 ' s a s i g n i f i c a n t shift o c c u r r e d in t h e f o c u s of a d o p t i o n s e r v i c e s . A s a r e s u l t of the c o n c e r n for the g r o w i n g n u m b e r of c h i l d r e n r e m a i n i n g in l o n g - t e r m f o s t e r c a r e , as w e l l as the c o n c e r n for c h i l d r e n w h o a p p e a r e d t o b e 'lost' in the f o s t e r c a r e s y s t e m , p r e s s u r e e m e r g e d to find m o r e p e r m a n e n t living a r r a n g e m e n t s for t h e m . T h e c o n c e p t of 'special needs' e m b o d i e s a c o m m i t m e n t to i n c r e a s e h o m e - b a s e d and a d o p t i o n s e r v i c e s for b l a c k , o l d e r and h a n d i c a p p e d c h i l d r e n , m a n y of w h o m h a v e b e e n in l o n g - t e r m c a r e . . . R e c o g n i t i o n that p o o r c h i l d r e n , too h a v e a right to a h o m e and f a m i l y led to g r e a t e r u t i l i z a t i o n of a d o p t i o n s e r v i c e s for t h e m . T h i s e f f o r t , in turn, p r o d u c e d m o r e w i d e s p r e a d p r o v i s i o n of a d o p t i v e h o m e s for  31 black and other minority group  children."  (Kadushin & Martin, 1988, p.537)  In B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , a s p e c i a l n e e d s c h i l d  is  c o n s i d e r e d t o b e any c h i l d o v e r t h e age of t w o y e a r s . At t i m e , m i n o r i t y c h i l d r e n of any a g e w e r e c o n s i d e r e d  to be  s p e c i a l n e e d s , b u t t h a t d e s i g n a t i o n h a s c h a n g e d as  the  s u p p l y of h e a l t h y i n f a n t s for a d o p t i o n h a s d i m i n i s h e d . is a s i m i l a r p r o c e s s to that e x p e r i e n c e d b y m a n y  This  American  a d o p t i o n a g e n c i e s w h i c h h a v e f o u n d t h a t the b o u n d a r i e s  of  s p e c i a l n e e d s b e c o m e ever m o r e e l a s t i c as t h e y d i s c o v e r v i r t u a l l y a l l c h i l d r e n are  one  that  adoptable.  This chapter has examined adoption  in its m o s t  general  s e n s e and m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , h o w a d o p t i o n h a s e v o l v e d  in  B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . A d o p t i o n h a s m o v e d from a p r o c e s s c o n c e r n e d p r i n c i p a l l y w i t h p r o p e r t y and i n h e r i t a n c e power associated with property) to a social  (and  program  p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the w e l l - b e i n g of c h i l d r e n . further developments  are n e c e s s a r y t o e n s u r e t h a t  While  the  c h i l d ' s b e s t i n t e r e s t is a l w a y s s e r v e d , the c h a n g e s of last t h i r t y y e a r s h a v e a d d r e s s e d of the p r e v i o u s  millennia.  the  some of the w o r s t  the  excesses  32  REVIEW OF ADOPTION DISRUPTION LITERATURE It was hard seeing children that young know that much. They had the minds and thoughts of adults They knew about drugs and sex and dice. They'd pretend they was shooting up. And they'd steal too... Steve used to sleep sitting up out of fear of being beaten. His mama and grandma used to beat him for wetting the bed. And they would get in the bed and try to 'be with' one another. And I'd say, 'Who'd you see doing like that ?' They'd say 'Mom and her boyfriend'. They'd say their mama'd pull their clothes off and be laying there with the men. I called the psychiatrist, and she said Steve has seen too much of adult life to be a child. (Nelson, 1 9 8 5 ,  p.64)  The previous chapter traced the development of adoption as a social institution over time. Such a review must paint the broad picture and cannot focus on the myriad small changes which have occurred over time in a complex area such as adoption policy. The lack of infants available for adoption, coupled with the perception that older children were drifting in foster care, has led to increased emphasis on the adoption of older, special needs children. The burgeoning field of permanent planning for children in care can provide some useful pointers for adoption studies.3 In particular, we can learn from post-care interviews with former children in care about their experiences so as to improve the quality of service for children currently in care. One of the major findings of the permanency planning movement has been the lack of planning for children. This  33 h a s led t o f o s t e r c a r e  'drift' w h e r e c h i l d r e n are left  foster homes with little planning  for p e r m a n e n t  b e i n g c a r r i e d out b y t h e a g e n c y r e s p o n s i b l e . the n u m b e r s of c h i l d r e n legislation  left a d r i f t  in  placement  Concern  in f o s t e r c a r e  about  prompted  in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s t o e n s u r e t h a t c h i l d r e n  e i t h e r r e t u r n e d t o t h e i r o w n f a m i l i e s p r o m p t l y or a r e in s u i t a b l e a d o p t i v e  are  placed  homes.  P e r m a n e n c y p l a n n i n g is t h e s y s t e m a t i c p r o c e s s of carrying o u t , w i t h i n the b r i e f t i m e - l i m i t e d p e r i o d , a set of g o a l - d i r e c t e d a c t i v i t i e s d e s i g n e d to h e l p c h i l d r e n live in f a m i l i e s that o f f e r c o n t i n u i t y of r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h n u r t u r i n g p a r e n t s or c a r e t a k e r s and the o p p o r t u n i t y t o e s t a b l i s h l i f e t i m e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . (Fein, M a l u c c i o et al, 1983, p . 4 8 6 ) P a r t l y d u e t o t h i s d r i v e for p e r m a n e n t h o m e s children, greater factors that  for  a t t e n t i o n h a s b e e n p a i d to d e f i n i n g  the  lead to s u c c e s s f u l a d o p t i o n . C h i l d r e n are  p l a c e d for a d o p t i o n t o d a y w h o w e r e r e l e g a t e d t o b a c k of i n s t i t u t i o n s  wards  for the h a n d i c a p p e d o n l y t w e n t y y e a r s  Agencies have recognized  being  ago.  that t h e y m u s t e x a m i n e t h e i r  own  p r a c t i c e to d e t e r m i n e if p l a c e m e n t p l a n s are a p p r o p r i a t e . a d o p t i o n is t o b e a r e a l o p t i o n for s p e c i a l n e e d s  children,  w e n e e d to d e v e l o p a clear d a t a b a s e about t h e r i s k s r a t e s of d i s r u p t i o n . A r m e d w i t h t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , can m a k e i n f o r m e d  If  and  agencies  j u d g e m e n t s about p l a c e m e n t p l a n s  and  decisions. T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l f o c u s on one aspect of the of  'special n e e d s c h i l d r e n '  placement  - placement disruption.  The  34  chapter will provide some working definitions, and review the relevant literature from the past two decades. Definition of Terms Definition of terms is important in this area as a great deal of research in the adoption field lacks clarity. For example, using some definitions, children might be counted as having a disrupted adoption even if they remained living with the same family under changed legal status (eg from adoption home to foster home). Similarly, significant differences may exist between children removed due to difficulties prior to completion of the adoption and children returned to agency care many years after completion. In the latter case, one cannot control for any number of events which may have occurred in the home and are unrelated to the adoption. Finally, lack of clarity in definition may lead to special needs children placed for adoption being considered equally with healthy infants for research purposes. Adoption In its s t a r k s i m p l i c i t y , B a r t h and B e r r y ' s d e f i n i t i o n of a d o p t i o n h a s g r e a t u t i l i t y .  (1988)  "Adoption  or e x p a n d s a f a m i l y t h r o u g h the legal s e v e r a n c e  of  b i o l o g i c a l t i e s of a child to h i s b i r t h p a r e n t s and establishment  of n e w ties to an a d o p t i v e f a m i l y "  K a d u s h i n and M a r t i n offer a similar v i e w provides permanent  creates  the  (p. 7).  "adoption  s u b s t i t u t e c a r e for c h i l d r e n w h o s e  birth  35 p a r e n t s are u n a b l e or u n w i l l i n g to p r o v i d e t h e support these children need" Special Needs  (p.  necessary  533).  Adoption  W h i l e t h e r e are m a n y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s 'special n e e d s ' ,  it w i l l b e d e f i n e d  of t h e  term  a c c o r d i n g to  current  p o l i c y of the B . C . M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s and For the p u r p o s e s of t h i s p o l i c y ,  Housing.  a special needs child  is  defined as any child over the age of two years, or a child of a n y a g e w i t h s p e c i f i c d i s a b i l i t i e s .  (This  w o u l d b e seen as t o o b r o a d b y a s p e c i a l i z e d  definition special  needs  a d o p t i o n a g e n c y like S p a u l d i n g for C h i l d r e n w h i c h  identifies  c h i l d r e n o v e r the age of six y e a r s as f i t t i n g t h e  special  needs category. Other agencies specializing  in the  adoption  field in the U n i t e d S t a t e s c o n s i d e r a c h i l d o v e r e i g h t to b e s p e c i a l Adoption  years  needs.)  Disruption  A d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n h a s p r o v e n to b e a m o r e  elusive  s u b j e c t for d e f i n i t i o n . T h e r e is w i d e d i s c r e p a n c y various definitions  and not m u c h c o n s i s t e n c y in  generally  a c k n o w l e d g e that d i s r u p t i o n i n v o l v e s the child or c e a s i n g to b e u n d e r the care and c o n t r o l of the  and  children  adoptive  p a r e n t s . H o w e v e r , t h e r e d o e s not a p p e a r t o b e an  definitions used by agencies, researchers  the  their  a p p l i c a t i o n in r e s e a r c h . D i s r u p t i o n d e f i n i t i o n s  m e t h o d of c o l l e c t i n g d a t a g i v e n the w i d e r a n g e  among  accurate  of governments.  36 For e x a m p l e , B a r t h and B e r r y s u b - s e t s of the larger  (1988) d i s c u s s the  following  definition.  Unofficial disruptions - in which the child's departure from the home is not reported to the adoption agency - may be more common than formal disruptions, but they are not reflected in the statistics Fost-adopt disruptions occur when foster p a r e n t s c a r e for a f o s t e r c h i l d w i t h an understanding that adoption will follow the r e l i n q u i s h m e n t of the c h i l d , and t h e n d e c i d e n o t t o adopt the c h i l d (before or after t h e c h i l d ' s r e l i n q u i s h m e n t ) , (p. 21) Occasionally, described  the d e f i n i t i o n of a d i s r u p t e d  in a m a n n e r r e q u i r e d to f a c i l i t a t e the  of i n f o r m a t i o n . D u e to the s e c r e c y and associated with adoption, record a c h i e v e and i n t e r v i e w P a r t r i d g e et al.  adoption gathering  confidentiality  s e a r c h e s are d i f f i c u l t  subjects difficult  to  (1986) in t h e i r d i s r u p t i o n  adoptive placement which had been initiated  to  locate. s t u d y at  U n i v e r s i t y of S o u t h e r n M a i n e , d e f i n e d d i s r u p t i o n as  w i t h i n a 2 1/2 y e a r p e r i o d "  is  and  the "any  terminated  (p. 7).  Zwimpfer (1978) remarks that her review of "previous studies of adoption breakdown . . . are a heterogeneous selection, having widely varying definitions and methodologies which make direct comparisons with each other . . . quite impossible"(p. 9). It is also important to distinguish adoption disruption from dissolution. Adoption dissolution is generally considered to refer to those cases where a child is returned to agency care after the completion of the adoption. Mixing  37 the t e r m s d i s r u p t i o n and d i s s o l u t i o n c a n lead t o a b o u t t h e n a t u r e of the r e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d and r e l i a b i l i t y  confusion  and t h e  validity  therein.  For the p u r p o s e s of t h i s s t u d y , a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n  is  defined as any adoption placement which ended prior to an adoption order being granted, where the child or children were removed from the home. This definition excludes  those  s i t u a t i o n s w h e r e the c h i l d r e m a i n s in the h o m e as a f o s t e r c h i l d or w h e r e a c h i l d ' s s t a t u s c h a n g e s  (eg. from  permanent  w a r d to c h a n g e of g u a r d i a n s h i p u n d e r the F a m i l y  Relations  Act). Similarly,  to h a v e  disrupted  an a d o p t i o n w a s n o t c o n s i d e r e d  if the c h i l d d i e d p r i o r t o g r a n t i n g an  adoption  o r d e r , e x c e p t w h e r e the d e a t h w a s d u e t o a b u s e or This definition  is g e n e r a l l y c o n s i s t e n t w i t h  K a d u s h i n and M a r t i n  neglect.  others.  (1988) w r i t e that " a d o p t i o n  disruptions  are d e f i n e d as p e r m a n e n t r e m o v a l of the c h i l d from  the  a d o p t i v e h o m e at any time b e f o r e legal f i n a l i z a t i o n adoption"  (p. 588).  B a r t h and B e r r y  (1988) s t a t e  "the d e s i g n a t i o n of d i s r u p t i o n i n d i c a t e s t h a t the  of  that agency  r e c e i v e d c u s t o d y of the child or w a s i n f o r m e d at the end of the p l a c e m e n t w h e n a child i n f o r m a l l y e m a n c i p a t e d " R e v i e w of L i t e r a t u r e on  (p.  22).  Disruption  The review below of adoption disruption literature will be largely confined to those studies which clearly discuss adoption disruption. While this summary does not include adoption outcome studies, it is important to note that this  b o d y of l i t e r a t u r e h a s m a d e a v a l u a b l e c o n t r i b u t i o n t o field of a d o p t i o n  disruption.  Adoption disruption  is a p h e n o m e n o n a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h s p e c i a l n e e d s c h i l d r e n . D i s r u p t i o n w a s not considered  the  largely  generally  t o b e a f a c t o r in t h e a d o p t i o n of the  healthy  i n f a n t s w h o c o m p r i s e d the l a r g e s t p a r t of t h e  adopted  p o p u l a t i o n p r i o r t o 1 9 7 0 . 4 A s a r e s u l t of the  emerging  n a t u r e of s p e c i a l n e e d s a d o p t i o n , t h e r e is not an  abundance  of l i t e r a t u r e o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h i s gap is r a p i d l y f i l l i n g the w h o l e area of s p e c i a l n e e d s c h i l d r e n is r e c e i v i n g g r e a t d e a l of Kadushin  as  a  attention. (1967) c o n d u c t e d a s t u d y of 91 c h i l d r e n  placed  for a d o p t i o n w h e n t h e y w e r e b e t w e e n five and t w e l v e y e a r s age. T h e s a m p l e g r o u p c o m p r i s e d f o r t y - n i n e b o y s and two g i r l s . T h e r e s e a r c h e r s u s e d a c o m b i n a t i o n of  T o h i s s u r p r i s e , K a d u s h i n found that the  parents reported  a  each  adoptive  'successful a d o p t i v e e x p e r i e n c e '  85% of the c a s e s . W h i l e t h i s w a s n o t a d i s r u p t i o n that the c h i l d r e n c o n t i n u e d  in their p l a c e m e n t s ,  i n d i c a t i v e of a g r o w i n g a w a r e n e s s about the  in  82-  study  in  it is  pre-adoption  e x p e r i e n c e s of the c h i l d r e n . T h e e f f e c t t h e s e m i g h t h a v e on the c h i l d r e n w a s a p r i m e  forty-  interviews  w i t h a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s and d e t a i l e d file r e v i e w for child.  of  experiences  concern.  G i v e n the c o n d i t i o n s u n d e r w h i c h t h e s e c h i l d r e n lived d u r i n g t h e i r m o s t i m p r e s s i o n a b l e y e a r s - i n poverty, inadequately housed, with alcoholic, p r o m i s c u o u s p a r e n t s w h o f r e q u e n t l y n e g l e c t e d them, s o m e t i m e s abused them, and o n l y r a r e l y o f f e r e d them the loving care that is the p r e r e q u i s i t e for  39 w h o l e s o m e e m o t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t - h o w c a n one e x p l a i n the g e n e r a l l y f a v o u r a b l e o u t c o m e of t h e s e placements ? (Kadushin, 1967, p . 25) K a d u s h i n c i t e s s e v e r a l s o u r c e s as a n s w e r s t o h i s q u e s t i o n and c o n c l u d e s that t h r e e f a c t o r s are responsible  predominantly  for t h e s u c c e s s a c h i e v e d b y the c h i l d r e n in  s t u d y - "the b i o l o g i c a l f a c t o r of c o n s t i t u t i o n a l .  resiliency  . . the s o c i o l o g i c a l f a c t o r of u p w a r d d i s p l a c e m e n t ,  reinforces  self a c c e p t a n c e  [and]  . . . the more  which  important  f a c t o r of m a k i n g a t h e r a p e u t i c m i l i e u a v a i l a b l e to children"  such  (p. 31). U n f o r t u n a t e l y , K a d u s h i n d o e s not  offer  any e x p l a n a t i o n for the lack of s u c c e s s in the 1 5 - 1 8 % adoptions  judged to b e  (1975) r e p o r t s o n h e r o w n u n p u b l i s h e d  adoption,  s u r v e y of  a d o p t i o n s in the B a y A r e a of C a l i f o r n i a . T h e s t u d y  74. T h e study a p p e a r s t o u s e K a d u s h i n and S e i d l ' s  failed  reviewed  the c a s e s of 53 c h i l d r e n r e t u r n e d from a d o p t i o n from  of a d o p t i o n f a i l u r e :  of  unsuccessful.  In h e r w i d e l y c i t e d a r t i c l e o n o l d e r c h i l d Bass  1972-  definition  "the r e m o v a l of an a d o p t i v e c h i l d  time b e t w e e n p l a c e m e n t  the  and legal a d o p t i o n "  (Bass,  any  1975,  p.503) . B a s s found that age w a s the s i n g l e m o s t factor in the f a i l u r e of an  significant  adoption.  T h e older the child at the t i m e 6f p l a c e m e n t , the g r e a t e r the h a z a r d s in that p l a c e m e n t . F o r t y - t w o of the c h i l d r e n (79%) w e r e over the age of 2, and of t h e s e 19 (35% of the t o t a l ) w e r e in the 9 - t o - 1 2 y e a r age r a n g e . T h e m o s t f r e q u e n t l y stated r e a s o n s for the f a i l u r e s w e r e b e h a v i o u r p r o b l e m s of the c h i l d r e n ; d i s r u p t i o n of the f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g ;  40 i n a b i l i t y of the c h i l d to m e e t ... e x p e c t a t i o n s ; and i n t e r n a l m a r i t a l or f a m i l y p r o b l e m s , (p. 79)  B a s s d o e s n o t i n d i c a t e the r e s e a r c h m e t h o d o l o g y , the s a m p l i n g t e c h n i q u e and c o n t r o l g r o u p described. The author prospective s h a r i n g of  nor  is  selection  suggests more involvement  by  a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s and m o r e e m p h a s i s o n  full  information.  Tizard's  (1977) s t u d y r e v i e w e d t h e a d o p t i o n of  children who were placed  30  for a d o p t i o n a f t e r the age of  T h e s t u d y w a s c o n d u c t e d in E n g l a n d u n d e r t h e a u s p i c e s s e v e r a l B r i t i s h c h i l d care a g e n c i e s . A l l of the  of  children  w e r e in i n s t i t u t i o n a l care p r i o r t o p l a c e m e n t . T h e and f a m i l i e s w e r e i n t e r v i e w e d  two.  2 1/2 y e a r s a f t e r  children  placement  and a g a i n at 6 y e a r s after p l a c e m e n t . T i z a r d e c h o e s  Kadushin  in h e r f i n d i n g that t h e r e m u s t b e a t h e r a p e u t i c e l e m e n t  at  w o r k in a d o p t i o n . She found that a l l of the p l a c e m e n t s  were  stable, a l t h o u g h t h r e e c o u p l e s  so  "expressed reservations  s e r i o u s as t o a m o u n t to d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n behaviour problem . . . .  . . . .  . . . was attention-seeking  in  i n s t i t u t i o n s or w h o h a d b e e n r e s t o r e d to their  (Tizard, 1979 p .  only  behaviour  In c o n t r a s t the c h i l d r e n w h o r e m a i n e d  f a m i l i e s h a d m o r e f r e q u e n t and m o r e s e v e r e  The  natural  problems"  537).  T i z a r d a d v a n c e s the p o s i t i o n that e a r l y e x p e r i e n c e s of a b u s e and n e g l e c t are not  childhood  crucial.  E a r l y e x p e r i e n c e s h a v e i m m e d i a t e e f f e c t s w h i c h , if not r e i n f o r c e d , w i l l fade in time. T h e y w i l l not  41 per se h a v e long term i n f l u e n c e s , o t h e r t h a n as a link in t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l c h a i n . T h e fact that they often appear to have a decisive long-term i n f l u e n c e is b e c a u s e e a r l y e x p e r i e n c e s a r e u s u a l l y reinforced It is just as l i k e l y t o b e the child's subsequent upbringing which affects his p e r s o n a l i t y d e v e l o p m e n t as h i s e a r l y e x p e r i e n c e or loss. (p. 14) Z w i m p f e r ' s c o m p a r i s o n of c o m p l e t e d and a d o p t i o n s in N e w Z e a l a n d e s t a b l i s h e d  disrupted  that a d o p t i o n  research  h a d to m o v e b e y o n d the q u e s t i o n of the s u c c e s s or f a i l u r e the  of  placement. T h e s t u d y w a s not c o n c e r n e d w i t h [the] b r o a d b a n d of u n h a p p y a d o p t i o n s , b u t w i t h t h o s e w h i c h h a v e r e s u l t e d in the e x t r e m e s o l u t i o n of the r e m o v a l of the c h i l d from its a d o p t i v e h o m e . T h e s e . . . s i t u a t i o n s m a y not b e p o t e n t i a l l y any w o r s e or m o r e u n h a p p y t h a n t h o s e w h i c h . . . find t h e i r later e x p r e s s i o n in a t t e n d a n c e at p s y c h i a t r i c c l i n i c s or l e g a l c o u r t s , and it m a y b e t h a t f a c t o r s that p r e d i s p o s e some a d o p t i o n s i t u a t i o n s to t o t a l b r e a k d o w n rather t h a n o t h e r e x p r e s s i o n s of u n h a p p i n e s s m a y lie in d e m o g r a p h i c f a c t o r s . ( Z w i m p f e r , 1983, p . 170)  Z w i m p f e r u s e d a c o m b i n a t i o n of file r e v i e w s  and  i n t e r v i e w s w i t h s o c i a l w o r k e r s t o c o n d u c t h e r s t u d y . She not i n t e r v i e w e i t h e r the a d o p t e d c h i l d r e n or their Her study c o m p r i s e d a c o m p a r i s o n of e i g h t y  parents.  disrupted  a d o p t i o n s and e i g h t y a d o p t i o n s w h i c h w e r e f i n a l i z e d . D u e v a r i a t i o n s in p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e over the y e a r s and included  in the s t u d y , Z w i m p f e r c h o s e t o i n c l u d e  breakdowns  did  to  areas  adoption  ( d i s s o l u t i o n s ) as w e l l as d i s r u p t i o n s . She  m a t c h e d a c o n t r o l file for e a c h d i s r u p t e d a d o p t i o n .  then  The  study w a s limited t o c h i l d r e n aged u n d e r s e v e n at the  time  42 the d e p a r t m e n t w a s f i r s t a w a r e of p r o b l e m s .  "Once a child  b e g a n t o a t t e n d s c h o o l and t h u s b e m o r e i n d e p e n d e n t of s m a l l f a m i l y , o t h e r v a r i a b l e s c o u l d b e o p e r a t i n g to uncertain degree breakdowns  the  an  [and w e ] d i d n o t w a n t to g e t i n v o l v e d  involving  a d o l e s c e n t s as t h i s i n t r o d u c e s y e t  f u r t h e r set of p s y c h o l o g i c a l (Zwimpfer, 1978, p .  with  and s o c i a l  a  considerations."  19)  Zwimpfer developed  a checklist  for u s e in the  file  r e v i e w and c o m p i l e d a list of 60 v a r i a b l e s . T h e s e r e l a t e d i t e m s about the a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s , the c h i l d , t h e p a r e n t s and the p r o b a t i o n a r y p e r i o d difficulties  in a c c e s s i n g  adoptive  after p l a c e m e n t . D u e  file i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h w a s  r o u t i n e l y f o r w a r d e d to a c e n t r a l r e c o r d s  not  to p r e v i o u s  Her  studies.  She  n o t e d that l e n g t h of m a r r i a g e of a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s seemed b e an i n d i c a t o r correlated  of  ' v u l n e r a b i l i t y to b r e a k d o w n '  She  the f i n d i n g that the age of the c h i l d  the time of p l a c e m e n t w a s v e r y  to  and  that w i t h the age of the a d o p t i n g p a r e n t s .  further u n d e r s c o r e d  to  department,  Z w i m p f e r w a s u n a b l e to c a l c u l a t e a d i s r u p t i o n r a t e . results showed many similarities  to  significant.  T h i s s t u d y c l e a r l y c o n f i r m e d the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the age of the child ... and the d i f f e r e n c e s w e r e a p p a r e n t from as e a r l y as o n e - m o n t h old at the time of p l a c e m e n t . M o s t (70 in t o t a l ) s u c c e s s f u l adoptions involved children placed before onem o n t h , w h e r e a s in the b r e a k d o w n group, o n l y 32 w e r e p l a c e d b y one m o n t h . . . the s i g n i f i c a n c e of this d i s t r i b u t i o n w a s c o n f i r m e d s t a t i s t i c a l l y . (Zwimpfer, 1983 p . 1 7 1 )  at  Zwimpfer found the gender of the child did not play a significant role in breakdown. However, she noted that children having ethnic backgrounds different adoptive parents were over-represented  in t h e  from  the  breakdown  group. One of the most interesting findings of Zwimpfer's study w a s h e r a n a l y s i s of the c o n c e p t she n a m e d  'matching  for m a r g i n a l i t y * . B r i e f l y s t a t e d , the h y p o t h e s i s w a s difficult children were often placed with  that  marginally  acceptable adoptive parents. Zwimpfer cites Kadushin and M a a s as a u t h o r i t i e s t o s u p p o r t h e r v i e w that s o c i a l t e n d to d e v e l o p i m a g e s of a c c e p t a b l e f a m i l i e s for and of c h i l d r e n for w h o m a d o p t i o n is a v i a b l e  workers  adoption  plan.  M a a s c o n c l u d e d that t h e s e p e o p l e w e r e m o r e f l e x i b l e in t h e i r a d o p t i v e p a r e n t role e x p e c t a t i o n s ...but a g e n c i e s ... w e r e p e r h a p s i m p o s i n g their own image o n t o p a r e n t s of the t y p e of c h i l d w h o w a s a d o p t a b l e b y t h e m — K a d u s h i n — h y p o t h e s i z e d that t h r o u g h a p r o c e s s of a c c o m m o d a t i o n not u n l i k e that of the e c o n o m i c m a r k e t p l a c e , a p p l i c a n t s of m a r g i n a l e l i g i b i l i t y w o u l d b e m o r e f l e x i b l e in t h e i r a c c e p t a n c e of 'different' c h i l d r e n in o r d e r t o b e c o n s i d e r e d m o r e f a v o u r a b l y b y the a g e n c y . " (Zwimpfer, 1983, p . 174)  Zwimpfer's findings are significant in that they reveal that the success or failure of an adoption placement might lie in factors resting outside the purview of the adoptive family. The study also highlights the combination of factors likely contribute to adoption disruption rather than some intrinsic defect in either party.  Hall  (1981) s t u d i e d all c a s e r e c o r d s of c h i l d r e n  from 1975 to 1979 b y a p l a c e m e n t  a g e n c y in I l l i n o i s .  placed She  f o c u s s e d on c h i l d r e n o v e r 5 y e a r s of a g e . T h e t o t a l  sample  w a s 101 c a s e s . T h e s t u d y w a s s o m e w h a t f l a w e d d u e t o  the  c o m b i n a t i o n of q u a l i t a t i v e  and q u a n t i t a t i v e d a t a  collection  and the p o s s i b l e s u b j e c t i v i t y of the a p p r o a c h . U s i n g structured  instrument  for d a t a c o l l e c t i o n , H a l l c o n f i n e d  r a n g e of p o s s i b l e r e s p o n s e s in such a w a y as to alternative  a  explanations  for b e h a v i o u r s .  her  preclude  She s t u d i e d  r e l a t i n g to a d o p t i n g p a r e n t s , a d o p t e d c h i l d r e n and  factors  natural  parents. B r i e f l y s t a t e d , H a l l found that t h e r e w e r e  no  s i g n i f i c a n t v a r i a b l e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the n a t u r a l p a r e n t s the c h i l d w h i c h i n f l u e n c e d d i s r u p t i o n . H o w e v e r , H a l l find that t h e r e w e r e  the c h i l d ' s a d j u s t m e n t  (Hall, 1981, p .  to the  children  parental  1  deprivation.  :  c o m p l e t e d a d o p t i o n s in t e r m s of n u m b e r of p r i o r  She found no d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n d i s r u p t e d  in foster c a r e or r e t u r n s to n a t u r a l p a r e n t s .  \ ! j i  the  relationships."  H a l l r e p e a t s K a d u s h i n and T i z a r d ' s v i e w that  >  adoptive  iii)  are r e m a r k a b l y r e s i l i e n t in s p i t e of e a r l y  in  of  p a r e n t s and o t h e r c h i l d r e n in the a d o p t i v e h o m e , and c h i l d ' s c a p a c i t y to e s t a b l i s h i n t e r - p e r s o n a l  the  ... child  a d i s r u p t e d a d o p t i o n w i t h r e g a r d to the p r e s e n c e emotional disability,  did  "significant differences between  a d o p t i v e c h i l d in a s u c c e s s f u l a d o p t i o n and t h e  of  In  and  placements addition,  45 t h e s t u d y r e v e a l e d n o e f f e c t of age or g e n d e r of the  child  on completion. However, Hall indicates that disruption highly associated with emotional disability.  She also  that t h e c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to e s t a b l i s h r e l a t i o n s h i p s significant  factor  in the d i s r u p t i o n or c o m p l e t i o n  was posits  is a of  a d o p t i o n . H a l l c a u t i o n s that t h i s f i n d i n g m a y b e d u e to child's worker  i n t e r p r e t i n g c o n d i t i o n s a l r e a d y in  the  existence  and thus m a y b e an e f f e c t r a t h e r t h a n a c a u s e . W h e n H a l l e x a m i n e d the v a r i a b l e s r e l a t i n g t o  the  a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s , t h e age of the a d o p t i v e f a t h e r w a s  found  to b e s i g n i f i c a n t . H a l l r e p o r t e d that the o c c u p a t i o n a l of the f a t h e r w a s a l s o a s i g n i f i c a n t  factor. While  level  Hall  r a i s e s some q u e s t i o n s about t h i s f i n d i n g w i t h r e s p e c t to p a r t i c u l a r n a t u r e of the c l i e n t s served b y the a g e n c y , o f f e r s n o e x p l a n a t i o n . T h e s t u d y is u s e f u l in that  the  she  it  p r o v i d e s some g u i d e p o s t s for f u r t h e r  s t u d y and  identifies  those variables generally considered  to b e i m p o r t a n t . W h i l e  H a l l p r e s e n t s an a r r a y of t a b l e s and c h i s q u a r e s c o r e s ,  she  p r o v i d e s n o a n a l y s i s of the f i n d i n g s and d o e s not link  them  to p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s . T h i s lack of a n a l y s i s of f i n d i n g s  in  the s t u d y r e n d e r s it less t h a n h e l p f u l in r e s o l v i n g q u e s t i o n s it r a i s e s about  the  disruption.  C o h e n ' s 1981 study of a d o p t i o n b r e a k d o w n in O n t a r i o the o n l y C a n a d i a n study to d a t e . C o h e n s t u d i e d 320  is  adoption  b r e a k d o w n s w h i c h h a d o c c u r r e d b e t w e e n 1975 and 1 9 7 8 . u s e d a file r e v i e w t e c h n i q u e and s e l e c t i v e i n t e r v i e w s  She with  46 agency personnel. Cohen found that the mean age on entering care was five and a half and the mean age for first adoption placement was seven and a half. Mean age at time of disruption was eight and a half. On average, the children had had two foster placements with an average stay in each of fifteen months. The children in this study were reported to be in good health without handicaps. Cohen did not make any comparison with completed adoptions nor did she offer much descriptive analysis of her study. The article describes a limited study of eight adoptive families, four of whom experienced an adoption disruption. This was a qualitative study and concludes that "a complex interactional process must occur for an older child to become truly a member of a family by adoption. Bonding, autonomy, initiative, and industry all enter into the process and provide stress. Both family and child have to be able to deal with this in an ongoing way." 1981, p. 130)  (Cohen,  These conclusions must be viewed with caution  given the very small sample in the study (n = 8). The sampling technique is not identified in the monograph, raising questions of validity and reliability. A more substantive research project was undertaken by Festinger in 1984 in New York. This project was undertaken primarily to determine a disruption rate and uniform calculation of that rate. In addition, the author attempted to unravel some of the conflicting data about adoption,  47 particularly of special needs children. Festinger describes at great length the difficulties in arriving at a uniform calculation for adoption disruption. This is in part due to the lack of a uniform  'start-date' to begin counting  adoptions and the difficulties one encounters in attempting to count those children already in placements. The study followed the "first 12 months of adoptive placement of 482 children who were placed alone, without siblings, and 415 children who were in sibling groups of two to five children I placed together ... in placements supervised by 36 voluntary agencies as well as the public services" (Festinger, 1986, p. 10-11). The study examined the files for each case and surveyed social workers by means of a structured  interview  and questionnaire. Festinger calculated an overall disruption rate of 8.2%. However, on closer analysis, some sub-groups within the larger sample showed quite different rates. Like other studies, Festinger found that the age of the child at the time the adoption agreement was signed was a significant factor. The placements of 13.1% of children age 11 or older did not hold, in contrast to 4.5% for children ages six to ten. These differences existed regardless of sex, race or religious affiliation. There were also considerable age differences between those whose placement disrupted (mean = 1 1 . 2 years) and those who were adopted (mean = 9.8 years) (p. 15)  Festinger's study also showed some variation from previously held beliefs about sibling placement. She found that children placed alone had a disruption rate higher (10.7%) than children placed with siblings (5.6%)5. While there were other findings of lower significance relating to gender, ethnicity, and religion, Festinger found that disruption was primarily related to the age of the child and whether the child was placed alone or with siblings. The study examined the placement history of each child as well as the placement experience. Like Hall, Festinger examined the number of returns to natural parents and the total number of foster placements. Her conclusion was that children whose placements disrupted were more likely to have had a previous adoption disruption. Further, they were more likely to have experienced more placements and to have had more types of placements than the children whose adoptions did not disrupt. Unlike Hall, Festinger found few adoptive parent characteristics to have a significant effect on disruption. She examined occupational status, age, race and education. None of these factors was found to influence outcome. The study also looked at the previously assessed problems of the child sample. Festinger found that children placed alone tended to have more problems and were more prone to disruption than children placed with siblings. She also notes that these children were more likely to have had  multiple placements - possibly due to the problems they were experiencing. Siblings placed together have a natural support group at hand that can moderate the appearance of problems. It is also possible ... that some were separated from their siblings ... because of their problems, or perhaps some developed problems in response to such a separation. (Festinger, 1986, p. 33) Coyne and Brown (1985) reported on their 1980 study of adoption of developmentally disabled children. They reviewed the cases of 693 children placed for adoption across the' United States and Canada. While their primary focus was on the 'adoptability' of such children, a secondary finding of the study was a review of those placements which disrupted. They found an overall disruption rate of 8.7% (n = 60). As with studies described above, the age of the child was seen as being significant 6 . They found that for children aged below 7 years, the rate of disruption was low at 3.3%. However, the rate for children over 8 was considerably elevated at 17.7%. The study also examined foster parent adoptions as opposed to adoption by a new set of adoptive parents. Foster parent adoptions had a lower disruption rate (4.4%) than adoptions by families new to the child (10.4%). Disruption did not appear to be influenced by the type of developmental disability the child presented. However, there were missing data elements which prevented analysis of the degree of  disability. Based on the limited responses received, the authors reported an inclination toward a lower rate of disruption for children with serious impairment. The study showed no significant difference on the variables of gender or race. Acting under the auspices of the Child Welfare League of America, Nelson (1985) undertook a study of special needs adoptive families. She studied 177 families who had adopted 257 children. The families were identified by both private /  and public agencies in diverse areas of the United States. To be eligible for this study, the families must have "adopted a sibling group of three or more children; or a child who was at least eight years old at the time of placement ... or a child with an impairment ... that was likely to impose at least a moderate limitation on functioning." (Nelson, 1985, p. 8) It is a sign of the evolving nature of special needs adoption that Nelson was able to consider children under the age of eight years  'easy  to place'. As with other studies, the project used a combination of file review and interview techniques to gather the information needed. Since the focus of this project was the adoptive families, Nelson devotes much attention to documenting the demographic data concerning the adoptive parents. She also describes the adoption placement process and supports available after legalization. As the study  families had been selected on the basis of a completed adoption, there were no disruptions in the group. However, there were dissolutions in five families who had a total of seven children placed. Nelson studied adoptive parents' satisfaction with the adoption. Inasmuch as one can link this issue to outcome, the findings are an interesting contrast to most disruption studies. Nelson found that the satisfaction of the adoptive parents is not affected by either the number of previous placements or the length of time in care. Her research also indicated that satisfaction is not affected by the reason the natural parents' rights were terminated. Factors found to have a negative impact on adoptive parents' satisfaction included: an isolated child who was both difficult to reach and not given to reaching out, children placed where there was some degree of legal risk, children who had experienced previous adoption disruption and, situations where the parents' expectations about the child were disappointed. Nelson links this latter point to the need for full disclosure of all pertinent information about the child and adequate preparation of families by the placing agency. Of the seven children whose adoption ended, six were male. Five of the seven were placed with a sibling and six out of the seven were between five and seven years old at the time of their first placement. Nelson makes a number of recommendations about the placement and preparation of  children and about the recruitment of families for special needs children. She emphasizes the need for adoptive parents to feel in control of the adoption process. Kagan and Reid (1986) reported on their study of another sub-set of the adoption picture - the adoption of emotionally disturbed youths. This study looked at the adoption placements of 78 children placed by a New York State agency. All of the children were described as being hard to place due to severe emotional and learning disabilities. The majority of the youths were boys and almost all had been neglected by their biological families. Over 50% were physically abused, and 91% had been placed in institutional treatment centres. Most had lived in a series of foster placements that began at an early age. Mean ages at the time of first adoptive placement and time of ... follow-up were 11.0 and 16.4 respectively, (p. 65) The researchers interviewed social workers and child care workers and reviewed files where possible. Kagan and Reid did not generate a disruption rate for their sample but state that of the total sample, 71% were legally adopted. Just over one-half of the sample had at least one adoptive placement disrupt. Given the particular focus of this study,and the sample selected, emphasis was placed on determining whether the behavioural and learning problems already identified would have an effect on adoption outcome.  53 The prospect of reattachment to another set of parents may be perceived ... as intolerable because of the pain remaining from previous bonds to biological and/or foster parents... such youths were assumed to be much less likely to succeed in adoptive families ... success with older youths was hypothesized to be directly correlated with assessments of the ability of the adoptive families to experience and manage the intense depression and rage of these youngsters, (p. 66) In contrast to other studies noted above, the researchers found that age at first placement, age at surrender and total time in care prior to being freed for adoption did not correlate with disruption. Certain behaviours such as property damage, aggressiveness and psychotic episodes were also found not to influence disruption. Kagan and Reid do however echo other studies in their finding that the gender of the child did not influence outcome. Factors considered to be significantly associated with disruption were: those children found to have been physically abused, children who were physically aggressive when first placed, total length of time the children spent in care prior to placement and the number of placements making up the total time. The authors also found that the assessment of the adoptive family was a key variable in the prediction of the family's coping skills and mechanisms-i In addition, the authors suggest that adoption of adolescent boys by single mothers may present special difficulties due to the  54 emergence of sexual issues and the concomitant problems associated with not having a strong bond with the child. Where the children have some form of permission from birth or foster parents to establish ties with a new family, Kagan and Reid indicate that the prospect for successful adoption is more likely. As with other studies, the authors strongly suggest that the provision of post adoption services is crucial to the success of adoptive placements. Partridge et al.(1986) at the University of Southern Maine Center for Research and Advanced Study, looked at data from 235 placements covering six agencies, private and public - urban and rural. The researchers used a combination of data collection techniques including interviews with agency staff, questionnaires and case record questionnaires. They also interviewed adoptive families and their workers. Although 60% of the placements were male, analysis of the disrupted adoptions revealed no significant differences on the basis of gender. Similarly there was no correlation between race and disruption. Data from this study are summarized below in table form.  Characteristic  Average  Average age at separation  3 years  Available for adoption  5.8 years  Prior placements  3 % or N  Physically abused  66%  Sexually abused  52%  Emotionally abused  73%  More than 5 placements  31%  Physical,mental handicap  75  (p. 34-35) This project did calculate a disruption rate and arrived at a figure of 8.6% after making allowance for uneven distribution of disrupted cases in the sample, This figure is very similar to Festinger's as reported above. Predictors of disruption, or factors which seem to predispose the children to disruption were: age (11 years vs 6.6), history of serious trauma, number of previous placements, time available for adoption. "There is every indication that children in the disrupted group are more experienced with loss, instability, and maltreatment and appear to be more emotionally disturbed and behaviourally dysfunctional than their counterparts in continuing placements."(p. 44-47) In 84% of the cases, the social worker described the child's 'behaviour, constitution or personality' as reasons  56 for the disruption of the placement. A further finding was that when children had already experienced an adoption disruption, half experienced another disruption. Finally, the authors comment that the child related factors are more associated with disruption than the family or agency factors. Barth and Berry's (1988) recent study is perhaps the most exhaustive look at the phenomenon of adoption disruption to date. The study followed 927 children placed for adoption after three years of age. The study sample was drawn from agencies in 13 Northern California counties. One of the study goals was to describe those characteristics which distinguish disrupted adoptions from completed adoptions. The following extract from their recently published book, indicates the hypotheses explored in the research. It is reprinted here as the model undertaken in this study is similar. They hypothesize that: 1) Children adopted by their foster parents have an added resource and are thus less likely to disrupt. 2) Children with more historical problems of abuse and neglect will display more behaviour problems and will be more likely to disrupt. 3) Children who have developed close relationships to prior caretakers will benefit by retaining contact with them. Thus, open adoptions, for children attached to prior caretakers, will be more stable than closed ones. 4) Children who have been in foster care longer will have endured more prolonged uncertainty and stress, and will be more likely to disrupt. 5) Families with continuous sources of support (no changes in social workers) will adjust to the placement with less likelihood of disruption.  57 6) Children with unresolved separations from prior caretakers will be more likely to disrupt. 7) Adoptive parents with prior experience as foster or adoptive parents will use those resources to create a more stable placement. 8) Parents with inadequate information and/or preparation prior to placement will have misleading expectations and will be more likely to disrupt. 9) Sibling placements into homes with no other children will proceed more smoothly than sibling placements into homes with other children. 10) Subsidies will be associated with smoothness of placements, with a lesser association to disruption. 11) Adoptions will proceed more smoothly when families have the social support of friends, ( relatives, and informal networks (church, school,, etc.). 12) Families in which the marital relationship is strained by the adoptive placements will be more likely to disrupt. 13) Parent support groups will provide resources that help families to maintain adoptions. 14) Adoptions in which the agency is available throughout preparation, the trial period, and in post-legalization difficulties will be more likely to remain intact. 15) Placements in which the child is reported to increase reciprocity toward his parents will be more likely to proceed smoothly and remain intact." (p. 63-64) The authors also set out to attempt to predict which adoptions were more likely to disrupt. A secondary task was to examine the disruption rate and attempt to clarify the calculation of such rates in order to provide more uniform measures. The authors established a disruption rate of 10% over the four years the study followed children. They note that average time from adoption placement to disruption was eighteen months and some placements may yet have disrupted after the study was completed. For this reason, they  calculated that the final rate might be closer to 11%. Like Festinger, Barth and Berry realized that there may be variations within the overall rate which provide more helpful information. They point out that the disruption rate for children not adopted by foster parents was much higher than for those children adopted by their foster parents (17% vs 6%). Yet, even within the sub-set of foster parent adoptions, there were other differences which need elaboration.  i  The difference in the stability of foster parent placements holds, however, only for white children, who had a stability rate for foster parent adoptive placements of 94 percent, compared with 81 percent for new adoptions. Minority children had 90-percent stability rates for both fost-adoptions and new adoptions. Foster parent adoptions are less stable for boys than girls. (Barth & Berry, 1988, p. 229) As with practically all of the studies mentioned above, Barth and Berry found that the age of the child at the time of placement was a highly significant variable. Children in the disrupted group were found to have a mean age of 9 at placement compared to 7 years for the completed group. As Kagan and Reid (1986) found, boys tended to have a higher disruption rate (54% vs 38%). This correlation was not considered to be strongly related to disruption. The child variables considered to be highly associated with disruption were: age of the child, history of prior disruptions, and previously noted behaviour problems. If the child was  59 opposed to the adoption, the risk of disruption was considered to be elevated. In summary, with few exceptions, the studies cited above have found that the age of the child at the time of adoptive placement is a critical factor in adoption outcome. The range of ages considered to fall within the high risk category varied widely from one month (Zwimpfer, 1978) to 11 years (Partridge et al., 1986). This range is somewhat misleading as it reflects only the average age of children in the disrupted group. This does not indicate that these are the threshold ages for stopping adoption placement. The literature also displayed some ambivalence about the utility of sibling placements. While Barth and Berry (1988) comment that the placement of siblings in a home with no other children is contra-indicative of disruption, others have written that sibling placements are more prone to disruption e.g. Kadushin (1971). Many authors have commented on the pre-care experience of the children. While early writers like Kadushin (1967) and Tizard (1977) commented on the resilience of children, some of the more recent studies have focussed on the abuse and neglect children have suffered and the effect this early deprivation has had on subsequent adoption. Foster parent adoptions are a new enough feature of the child welfare system that they receive little attention in the literature. Nelson (1986) was looking primarily at adoptive family functioning and not at  disruption, she noted that satisfaction was not as great in fost-adopt situations. Proch (1982) also found less satisfaction in foster parent adoptions. Yet, Barth and Berry (1988) and Festinger (1986) found that foster parent adoptions disrupted less than new adoptions. The rate at which adoptions disrupt has been a theme throughout the studies described above. Partridge et al (1986) estimate a range from 8.6% to 20% across the studies they reviewed. Within these rates however, significant  '  differences exist when specific sub-sets are more closely examined. The whole question of a disruption rate as a single uniform figure appears to be open to debate. Adoption practice, policy and legislation vary widely across jurisdictions.  Absolute comparison of any study is  difficult without a careful analysis of the differences between areas. The presence or absence of adoption subsidies is thought to be a factor in adoption decision-making but service provision is universally considered to be a factor of prime importance. This chapter has identified some of the highlights of adoption disruption research over the past two decades. The primary focus of the review has been on those factors which reflect on the needs and characteristics of the children placed for adoption since this is the area of research described in the chapters to follow. Early on in the decision making process for this research project, it was  61 decided to focus exclusively on the child related variables. While it is clear that these variables do not exist in a sociological vacuum, it was considered important to identify as many features of the children whose placements disrupted as possible. Maintaining the child as the central focus of study is a first step toward debunking some of the myths in special needs adoption which hold that the issues which lead to adoption disruption are largely child-based. While this may be true in some cases, policy and practice should be* based on research not opinion. The identification of those children considered most at risk of adoption disruption will enable policy makers to frame policies which will address the needs of this very special group of children in state care. This chapter and the one previous have indicated the evolving nature of adoption over the millennia. It appears that until very recently adoption was primarily concerned with the needs of all of the parties to it, excepting the children. Drawing the focus back onto the children themselves is, in part, an attempt to place them at the centre of adoption studies rather than on the periphery. This study will contribute to the body of knowledge about special needs adoption in several important ways. It will look at the adoption population in British Columbia and examine similarities with studies as described above. It will also provide an extensive picture of the children  currently placed for adoption in this Province. This new knowledge base will provide a platform for the development of policy as well as a jumping-off point for further research.  63  METHOD  As in many jurisdictions, British Columbia's Adoption Act requires the sealing of adoption records upon completion of the adoption order. The legislation was drafted in this way in order to provide a degree of finality to the adoption. The 'as if born' terminology was taken to mean that all official records of the child's life prior to the adoption were to be filed away, and referred to only under very special circumstances. This, and similar legislation across Canada and the United States, has presented researchers with problems in obtaining an adequate data base for research into adoption. Concerns about the confidentiality of adoptive parents and adopted children have always loomed large in the decision to allow researchers access to closed files. However, the increased emphasis on the adoption of special needs children has meant that administrators of adoption programs have recognized the importance of research based practice in this area. The B.C. Superintendent of Family and Child Service has championed this research project as a first attempt to identify some of the important issues surrounding special needs adoption disruption.  SUBJECTS Permission was granted in the fall of 1987 to review the files of children whose adoption had disrupted prior to granting of the adoption order. In addition, access was permitted to the files of a similar number of children whose adoptions were completed. A list was generated, by the Ministry of Social Services and Housing, of all of the disrupted adoptions since 1985. As all adoption records are held centrally in Victoria, B.C., all files were available through the Adoption Section. By virtue of the method used to generate the list of disrupted adoptions, (i.e. files where the adoption order was not made), some of the cases were not appropriate for study. Examples were: cases where the child died prior to the completion (n = 2); cases where the child remained living with the adoptive parent on a foster basis (n = 2); and cases where the child's status changed due to a successful application by the caregiver under the Family Relations Act (n = 1). In addition, ten files were not reviewed as they were missing or contained insufficient information. These revisions to the original list created a revised list of 41 children. Using the Ministry's existing working definition of special needs children - any child over the age of two years, sibling groups of any age, children with special health needs - all of the children in the disrupted group are well described as  1  special needs'. A control group of  files was selected from the shelves of the adoption section. The files were selected on the basis of choosing every 15th file, starting at a random point on the shelves. If the file selected was not that of a special needs child, the next file was chosen. This purely random method of selection was necessary as there was no file database of special needs adoptions completed during the 1985-89 period. Since all adoption files are held centrally, the method of selection can be said to reliably represent a cross-section of the' completed adoptions of special needs children in British Columbia. In the period, 1985 -1989 there were 1,452 adoption placements in British Columbia. Children with special needs accounted for 881 of these placements. The study can be said to accurately represent a picture of the general population of special needs children placed for adoption. However, generalizability of the sub-groups within the larger sample to the larger population of children in care or children available for adoption is limited. This study represents an exploratory first step toward identifying the characteristics of sub-groups within the larger sample. A statistical data base describing all of the information available about children placed for adoption is not in place. Accordingly, this study reliably represents those children whose adoptions were reviewed, but cannot be representative of all of the children potentially available for adoption.  66 Measures A secondary analysis methodology was chosen for this project. Consideration of availability of information, access to case records and ethical issues relating to direct discussion with adoptive parents were factors in this decision. The personal pain surrounding the adoption disruption for both parent and child makes interviewing either party difficult. Further, the accuracy of the information provided is always subject to the interpretation placed on it by the subject. A structured interview was not possible in these circumstances given the limited time and resources available. An ethical researcher would have to ensure that adequate counselling and support services were available at the time of the research intervention in order to avoid further trauma for participants. Ministry of Social Service policy over the last decade has been to request of adoptive parents their consent to engage in follow-up research. The implication is that if adoptive parents do not consent to being contacted for research purposes, they should not be approached. This indicates that a complete sample of both completed and disrupted adoptive placements would be very difficult to achieve. Secondary analysis or document study, while recognized as a valid and useful method of research  (Bailey,1978,  Grinnell, 1985) has some disadvantages and advantages which must be addressed. The following application of Bailey's  67 model to discuss document study addresses the issues he raises. Advantages of document study 1) Inaccessible subjects - The adoptive parents and children are not ideal subjects for interviews or structured questionnaires. Conducting such a procedure on either the parents or the children in isolation would provide some valuable information. However, the emotional cost would potentially be high and perhaps not worth the potential , suffering. In addition, there is a problem of access to subjects.  Gochros (1985) stresses the need for "evidence of  the proposed respondents' willingness to be interviewed. If the sample refuses, the result is nothing but a list of nonrespondents" (p. 329). 2) Nonreactivity - The data used are based on file material collected for recording and documentary purposes. The file material was not written by the subjects. The 'data collection method'(a structured instrument as described below) did not change the data collected nor did its collection influence the behaviour of the subjects. 3) Longitudinal analysis - As stated above, the study describes the disruption of adoptions from 1985 to 1989. Secondary analysis permits the examination of the data where primary source methods present difficulties in timing, cost and accessibility. This is an empirical as opposed to experimental form of research.  4) Sample size - Although in this case, the sample is relatively small due to a limited population base, the consideration of sample size is important. As indicated above, contact with adoptive parents is only possible in those cases where prior consent to contact for research purposes has been granted. Generating a sample of large enough proportion of both completed and disrupted placements would be a potential problem. 5) Spontaneity - It is assumed that the file material fairly represents the observations of the recorder at the time the events transpired. Documents are filed as required by statute. Assessments completed by third parties represent the state of knowledge available about the case at that point in time. 6) High quality - Given a standard reporting format and auditing procedures to maintain quality recording for many mandated services, one can reasonably expect that certain key documents will be available on files. Where files were available, there was no case where all needed demographic information was missing. A change in Provincial file storage policy in 1988 meant that some file material was no longer kept centrally for disrupted adoptions. While all material related to the child had previously been kept on file in the records section, when adoptions disrupted some material was returned to the district office serving the child. The principal impact of this change on the data collection  method was that corollary information was not always present. This complicated data collection in some cases. However, sufficient numbers of files continued to have the necessary information for purposes of this research. Disadvantages of Document Study 1) Bias - Although the file material was not intended to be used for research purposes, the study was designed to probe for information that is known to be routinely recorded. Bias on the part of the recorder may enter assessments of families or children. An additional complication is the inherent bias in adoption home studies where applicants tend to paint the rosiest possible picture of themselves. This research project focussed on that information which was available at the time of placement, and therefore questions of bias relate principally to the interpretation of events by the recorder. In many ways, this is a central feature of the research investigation. Social workers' effectiveness is evaluated in part in their clients' case files. As with most human beings, few social workers are sufficiently honest . . . to record their failures and errors of judgement in agency records. Client files may be biased so as to present the social work practitioner in the best possible light. Certain data which result in the evaluation of the effectiveness of social workers are especially suspect. (Weinbach, 1985, p.75) 2) Selective survival/incompleteness - This was a problem encountered. Some file material was deleted due to changes in file retention policy. Other material was filed on  70 related files, such as those of the child's non-adopted sibling or parents, and not retained on the subject file. Where material was not available in sufficient amounts the case was deleted from the sample. Careful reading of all related files occasionally provided the missing information and a case was not deleted from the sample until this was done. The research instrument was constructed with some foreknowledge of the material likely to be found commonly in ministry files. Thus, the problem of data incompleteness' was contained as much as possible. 3) Lack of availability - Owing to the degree of cooperation received from the records section of the Ministry, and the permission granted to view files, the only question of availability concerned the physical whereabouts of a handful of files. These files could not be located and may have been misfiled, sent back to the originating office in error or sent out for microfilming. 4) Sampling bias - The children's names were drawn from a list of all adoptions which were not completed from 19851989. This list was culled by removing those cases which did not fit the disruption definition earlier established. Files were completely read prior to removal from the sample. 5) Limited to verbal behaviour - This jls a deficit in the design as no amount of file recording or assessment can adequately describe the pain and anguish that must accompany each adoption disruption. Nor can file recording adequately  71 capture the full range of verbal expression and behaviour. However, the purpose of the research was to identify those factors associated with disruption. Given that the initial hypotheses were that there were certain factors thought to associate with disruption such as length of time in care, pre-care experiences, history of abuse, examination of those issues could be accomplished through file review. 6) Lack of a standard format/coding - File recording policy and format were unchanged through the review period. The' requirements of the Adoption Act mandate that certain forms and materials be present. However, files dating back over several years occasionally held information about cases where the information presented seemed to indicate that sexual abuse was a possibility in the lives of the children. Wide scale awareness of this form of abuse did not really take hold until 1980 in B.C. and the file records may be limited in this area. Basing their methodologies on the hypothesis that the agency files held valuable data about the children, Zwimpfer (1978), Festinger (1986), Partridge et al (1986) and Barth and Berry (1989) all used secondary analysis to conduct their studies of adoption disruption. Zwimpfer identified the emotional toll personal interviews would take in her decision to apply a secondary analysis technique. Choosing the analysis of adoption files as my sole method was a simple and obvious choice for me: because I knew that the experience of an adoption breakdown is a very stressful and, partly by  72 virtue of its rarity, a guiltladen one as well, I at no time contemplated any personal interviews with the families concerned, as rich in information as it would be; the only other information obtainable therefore was in the adoption files of the Department of Social Welfare and therefore I decided to limit my research to the examination of those files". (Zwimpfer, 1978, p.19) File Review Instrument The file review instrument can be found in Appendix A. It was designed to address the central hypotheses, examining demographic variables such as age at placement, age when legally free, gender, and time spent in a number of different categories of alternate care. The hypotheses, as described above, queried the role of pre-care experiences in adoption disruption. Accordingly, the instrument reflected a range of pre-care experiences and included categories for 'other' types of experience not previously identified. The instrument was constructed to capture information known to be in case files. The discoveries of other researchers in this area were used to build the instrument and to tailor it to the working hypotheses. As mentioned above, foreknowledge of the material likely to be found in files aided in the development of the instrument. A simple coding formula was used which was designed to shorten the time required for recording the findings from each case. All ages were converted to months for simplicity of calculation  and because many of the children experienced their first foster placement before their second birthday. Validity and Reliability Considerations of the validity of the data must always loom large in research. The data collection instrument was designed to ensure that the data collected were both accurate and accurately represented the child's situation as described in the file. Bostwick and Kyte (1985) define validity as having two parts: "the instrument actually  1  measures the concept in question, and the concept is measured accurately" (P.161). The concepts chosen for the research were measurable by the instrument. Replication of the data collection would yield identical results. Internal checks were incorporated into the instrument to ensure accuracy. For example, ages at certain key points were measured. These were derived from source documents such as birth registration, placement notices, court reports and file recording. In order to maintain validity, an additional check was performed to account for missing months in the child's file history. Where the information sought concerned nominal data, cases were given a positive count on the item only when file material confirmed the presence of the factor.  Questions of  circumstance were carefully reviewed for accuracy. If a child was reported in the file or court material to have been sexually or physically abused, this information was  74 recorded. When the file material led to a suspicion that the child may have been abused, based on behaviour and circumstances, but there was no confirmation, the abuse would not be recorded as confirmed. In this instance, a note was made querying abuse as an issue for the child. If the suspected abuse was not subsequently confirmed, the case was not included in the count of children who experienced abuse. The information gathered from the files can be reasonably considered to be reliable, given that much of1 the information was based on official, factual documents. Reliability testing was necessary in some categories. This was particularly the case with items relating to siblings. A number of different questions were posed about siblings to ensure that all possible combinations of possibilities were examined. Instrument categories were designed to avoid ambiguity and to gather the information in a manner which led to ease of interpretation. An additional check was performed to examine whether any different special needs were identified after initial adoption placement. This check examined for reports that the child disclosed previous physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. This was to ensure that there were no false negative reports in the earlier assessment of the reason the child entered care. In addition, the files were checked to see if the adoptive parents reported that the child was  75 exhibiting different special needs than had been identified to them at the time of placement. Data Analysis The data were analysed using the statistical package, SPSSPC+. A number of strategies were employed to draw the maximum benefit possible from the data. Complete descriptive information was generated for all variables. This included, where applicable, mean, median and modal values for interval data; frequency tables, standard deviation and variance,' count and frequency tables for all nominal data. Missing information was not included in any calculation of statistics. In addition, a review of the raw data revealed some areas of anomaly, where the information was not missing, but could not be reliably used. In these cases, the variable was recoded as missing. For interval data, a t-test analysis was used. For all nominal categories, a chi-square analysis was used. In this computation, cases with cells with an expected frequency of less than five were not considered. The chi-square statistic was taken after the Yates correction was calculated to ensure a higher level of reliability of the measure (Norusis, 1988). All variables were measured against the dependent variable of adoption completion. An additional test was performed, controlling for children who were members of sibling groups and controlling for gender. Where the  76 variables were measured at the interval level, an analysis of variance method was used to test for significance about the differences between the means. For variables measured at the nominal level, the chi square analysis was used. Where the chi-square statistic was not valid for any of these combinations, the phi statistic was examined to consider the strength of the relationship. In addition, the lambda score was reviewed for an indication of the degree of association. A test for co-variability was not performed. This limits the study to description of the principal variables. A discriminant analysis to test for the effect of each of the nominal variables on the others would be a very useful follow-up study to this research. There were a number of variables about which information was gathered but will not be reported in the following chapter. In general, these variables were not considered to represent reliably information which was relevant to the study. For example, all of the children's files contained a 'disability' rating. This rating is highly subjective on the part of the social worker and cannot be considered a valid measure of the child's emotional, behavioural or physical disabilities. In any event, this information was captured in a more consistent manner through other variables. Other variables are not reported due to the very small number of cases in the sample. For example, children's  77 placements in institutions or residential treatment centres. The numbers in these cases were very small and statistically not significant. Among the post-placement variables, there are a number of areas not reported. Among these are the number of months between home study and placement and child placed as requested. In the former case, the use of this variable would have been inconsistent with the position taken above that the focus of the study was on the children. In the latter case, the information was interesting to > gather but would have required a great deal more development to become a truly useful piece of information. Summary The data collection instrument and the data collection process were carefully matched to capture as much of the relevant material from the files as possible. This chapter has identified the process, the subjects and the apparatus and has considered questions related to this areas. Subsequent chapters will illustrate the findings of the data collection and a discussion of their significance.  78 RESULTS  This chapter presents the results of the data analysis. It is presented in the same format and order as the hypotheses. To begin with, however, it is important to present a picture of the sample so as to provide an overview of the children. The total sample size was 82. As indicated in Table 1, there were equal numbers of boys and girls in the sample. The sample was composed of 60% non-caucasian children. Most of these children were Native Indian. However, there was no correlation between race and completion.  INSERT TABLE 1 HERE  There were 44 children (54%) who were members of a sibling group. As indicated below, there were several dimensions to this variable that were shown to be significant. Numbers of siblings ranged from a low of 1 to a high of 4.  Many of the children had siblings who were not  placed for adoption with them. These were adult siblings, children still living with their biological parents, children in other adoption homes or children in other care arrangements. There were 52 children (63.4%) in this category.  79 Table  3  Characteristics of disrupted  (n = 41) and completed  (n = 41)  X 2 or t  Characteristic  Completed  Disrupted  Gender of child  Male  (44%)  Male  (56%)  .7805  Caucasian  No  (66%)  No  (53%)  .3677  Siblings  Yes  (61%)  Yes  (42%)  3.972*  Age when free for adoption " Age when placed "  4.68  6.84  -2.84*  6.36  8.15  -2.11* I  Months wittj biological family "  38.44  Child's wait (months)b  25.75  57.9 -2.26* 20.11  1.06  " Mean values provided " Established by subtracting age when legally free from age at placement.  * 2 <- 05  80 The children's ages at various points in the adoption process are described below. Following Barth and Berry's (1988) example, a calculation of the time waiting for placement following termination of parental rights was undertaken. The result was not significant but indicated that, on average, the children in the completed group waited 25 months for placement. The children in the disrupted group waited an average of 20 months.  Hypothesis # 1: There will be no significant difference in outcome between boys and girls.  There were 82 cases in the sample. Of these, 41 were boys and 41 girls. Three children were counted twice. That is, two siblings experienced two disrupted adoption placements. A third child experienced an adoption disruption, but was later placed in another adoption home where the adoption was completed. Of the total population, 18 of the boys experienced an adoption disruption and 23 of the girls' adoptions disrupted. While there were more boys than girls in the disrupted group (n = 23, 56%), knowledge of the gender alone of the child reduces by only 12% the prediction of eventual completion or disruption of the adoption (lambda = .12195 dfl, n = 82).  81 The chi square analysis of adoption outcome by gender of the child alone, revealed no significance, chi-square (1, n = 82) = .780 p >.05.) All of the results described below are differentiated on the basis of gender so as to provide additional clarification on this point.  Hypothesis # 2: Children placed with siblings will be likely to experience fewer disruptions.  There are a number of variables to consider with respect to the presence and/or absence of siblings for the children in the sample. Just over one half of the children in the sample were members of a sibling group at the time they were available for adoption placement  (n = 44). The  numbers of siblings available for adoption at the same time as the subject child ranged from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4. Of the children with siblings available for placement, 17 (20.7%) experienced an adoption disruption. Of the remaining 38 children without siblings at the time of adoption placement, experienced 24 disrupted placements. There was a significant correlation between the availability of siblings at the time of placement and completion of the adoption, chi-square (l,n = 82) = 3.972,  p <.05). Not all of the children in the sample with siblings were with all their siblings at the time of placement.  For  82 those children who had siblings elsewhere, and were members of a sibling group placed for adoption, there was a significant positive correlation with adoption outcome, chisquare (1, n = 44) = 7.724, £ =-0054. The correlation was also strong for children who were members of a sibling group and placed in the same home as their siblings. For these children there was a correlation between completion of the adoption and the presence of siblings, chi-square (1, n = 44) = 5.714, £ =.0168.  Other i  significant findings with respect to siblings will be addressed below as they are relevant to each section.  Hypothesis # 3: Children who are able to maintain contact with siblings are more likely to experience fewer disruptions.  There was insufficient information available on the files to extract adequate data to test this hypothesis.  83 Hypothesis # 4: The disrupted group will be marked by children who are older at the age when legally free and older at the time of placement.  Age when legally free The mean age when legally free for adoption for the entire sample was 5.76 years (69.183 months). Mean age for all boys was 6.16 years (73.926 months), with a range from 5 months to 146 months. The mean age for all girls was 5.37 years (64.439 months, with a range from 7 months to 143 months.  INSERT TABLE 2 HERE  For children whose adoptions were not completed, the mean age overall was 6.84 years (82.098 months). The mean age for boys (n = 23) was 6.63 years (79.562 months), while the mean age for girls (n = 18) was 7.11 years  (85.333  months). For the completed adoption group, the mean age overall was 4.68 years (56.268 months). The mean age when legally free for boys (n = 18) was 5.56 years (66.722 months), while the mean age for girls (n = 23) was 4 years (48.087 months).  Table 2 Age When Legally Free (years) by Gender Overall Mean age  S.P.  Disrupted Mean Age  S.P.  Completed Mean Age  S.P  Male n %  6.16 41 50  3.67  6.63 23 28  4.12  5.56 18 22  3.02  Female n %  5.37 41 50  3.46  7.11 18 22  3.35  4.0 23 28  2.95  Overall n %  5.76 82 100  3.57  6.84 41 50  3.76*  4.68 41 50  3.05*  * 2 = -0057  85 The age at w h i c h the c h i l d b e c a m e l e g a l l y f r e e w a s significant. A t-test analysis  indicated  a  significant  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n age w h e n l e g a l l y free and completion.(f of v a r i a n c e  (80) = 1 . 5 2 ,  adoption  p < .05). H o w e v e r , t h e  i n d i c a t e d that t h e r e w a s no  significant  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the g e n d e r of the c h i l d , age l e g a l l y free and a d o p t i o n  when  completion.  For the c h i l d r e n in s i b l i n g g r o u p s age w h e n t h e y b e c a m e  analysis  (n = 44), the m e a n  l e g a l l y free for a d o p t i o n  was  y e a r s . For the g r o u p of c h i l d r e n w h o had s i b l i n g s for a d o p t i o n at the time of p l a c e m e n t , a disruption. of 4.53  The r e m a i n i n g  17  27 c h i l d r e n  (21%)  5.34  available  experienced  (33%) had a m e a n  age  years.  INSERT TABLE 3 HERE  T h e c h i l d r e n w h o did not h a v e s i b l i n g s a v a i l a b l e a d o p t i o n at the time of p l a c e m e n t  for  (n = 38) had a m e a n age of  6.25 y e a r s w h e n t h e y w e r e legally free for a d o p t i o n . Of g r o u p of c h i l d r e n  (characterized  (29%) e x p e r i e n c e d  a disruption. The disrupted group  children without  as  'alone' in T a b l e 3),  s i b l i n g s a v a i l a b l e at the time of  had a m e a n age of 7 y e a r s w h e n t h e y w e r e a d o p t i o n . T h e r e m a i n i n g 14 c h i l d r e n  this  of placement  legally free  (17%) w h o s e  24  for  adoptions  w e r e c o m p l e t e d had a m e a n age of 4.98 y e a r s w h e n they w e r e legally free for  adoption.  86  Table  5  Age when Legally Free Group Overall M e a n age S.D.  (years) b y M e m b e r s h i p in a Disrupted Mean Age  S.D.  Sibling  Completed Mean Age S.D  Sibling n %  5.34 44 54  2.96  6.61 17 21  3.15  4.53 27 33  2.59  Alone n %  6.25 38 46  4.16  7.00 24 29  4.20  4.98 14 17  3.89  Overall n %  5.76 82 100  3.57  6.84 41 50  3.76  4.68 41 50  3.05  87 A n a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e p r o c e d u r e r e v e a l e d t h a t was no significant child became  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the age at w h i c h  l e g a l l y free for a d o p t i o n ,  and m e m b e r s h i p in a s i b l i n g A g e at  there  adoption  the  completion  group.  placement  For the e n t i r e s a m p l e  (n = 82) t h e m e a n age at p l a c e m e n t  the a d o p t i o n h o m e w a s 7.26 y e a r s  (87.134 m o n t h s ) . For  b o y s , the m e a n age at p l a c e m e n t w a s 7.81 y e a r s  in  all  (93.707  m o n t h s ) , w i t h a r a n g e of 18 m o n t h s to 149 m o n t h s . T h e  mean /  age for a l l g i r l s w a s 182 m o n t h s  (80.561  6.71 y e a r s w i t h a r a n g e of 7 m o n t h s  to  months).  INSERT TABLE 4 HERE  For the d i s r u p t e d g r o u p  (n = 4 1 ) the m e a n age o v e r a l l  time of p l a c e m e n t w a s 8.15 y e a r s age for b o y s  (97.853 m o n t h s ) . T h e m e a n  (n = 23) w a s 7.74 y e a r s  the m e a n age for g i r l s  at  (92.913 m o n t h s ) ,  (n = 18) w a s 8.68 y e a r s  while  (104.166  months). In the c o m p l e t e d g r o u p w a s 6.37 y e a r s  (n = 41) the m e a n age  overall  (76.415 m o n t h s ) . The m e a n age for b o y s  was  7.89 y e a r s  (94.722 m o n t h s ) , w h i l e the m e a n age for g i r l s w a s  5.17 y e a r s  (62.087 m o n t h s ) .  88  Table  5  A g e at P l a c e m e n t  (years) b y  Overall M e a n age S.P.  Gender  Disrupted Mean Age S.P.  Completed Mean Age S.P  Male n %  7.8 41 50  3.90  7.74 23 28  4.03  7.89 18 22  3.83  Female n %  6.71 41 50  3.89  8.68 18 22  3.28  5.17 23 28  3.68  Overall n %  7.26 82 100  3.90  8.15 41 50  3.70*  6.36 41 50  3.95*  * 2  <•05  89 W h i l e the m e a n age at p l a c e m e n t w a s not  considerably  h i g h e r for b o y s in the c o m p l e t e d g r o u p , the g i r l s ' m e a n  age  w a s d i f f e r e n t by o v e r t h r e e y e a r s . A t - t e s t a n a l y s i s of  the  total s a m p l e i n d i c a t e d that the age at p l a c e m e n t w a s significant  a  f a c t o r in a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n , f (80, n =  = 1.13, p < .05. H o w e v e r , an a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e i n d i c a t e d no s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n age p l a c e m e n t , c h i l d ' s g e n d e r and a d o p t i o n  82)  procedure at  completion.  For c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e  for a d o p t i o n p l a c e m e n t ,  age at p l a c e m e n t w a s 7.23 y e a r s 17  (21%) e x p e r i e n c e d  a m e a n age of 8.16  the  the m e a n  (n = 44). Of t h e s e  children,  an a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h i s g r o u p  had  years.  INSERT TABLE 5 HERE  T h e c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e not m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g i d e n t i f i e d as  'alone' in T a b l e 6,  the time of p l a c e m e n t (29%) e x p e r i e n c e d  group,  (n = 38) had a m e a n age at  of 7.31 y e a r s . Of t h e s e c h i l d r e n ,  an a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h e  24  disrupted  'alone' g r o u p had a m e a n age of 8.15 y e a r s . The r e m a i n i n g (17%) c h i l d r e n in the  'alone' g r o u p w h o s e a d o p t i o n s  were  c o m p l e t e d , h a d a m e a n age of 5.87 y e a r s . An a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e  i n d i c a t e d that t h e r e w a s  s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the age at  placement,  m e m b e r s h i p in a s i b l i n g g r o u p and a d o p t i o n  completion.  no  14  90 Table 5 Age at P l a c e m e n t  (years) by M e m b e r s h i p in a S i b l i n g  Overall M e a n age S.D.  Disrupted Mean Age S.D.  Group  Completed Mean Age S.D  Sibling n %  7.23 44 54  3.45  8.16 17 21  2.91  6.63 27 33  3.68  Alone n %  7.31 38 46  4.43  8.15 24 29  4.24  5.87 14 17  4.53  Overall n %  7.26 82 100  3.91  8.15 41 50  3.70  6.37 41 50  3.95  91 Hypothesis his/her  # 5: The l e n g t h of time that a c h i l d s p e n d s  f a m i l y of o r i g i n w i l l i n v e r s e l y a f f e c t  T h e m e a n time w i t h b i o l o g i c a l sample  (n = 78) w a s 4 y e a r s  for all b o y s  entire  (48.423 m o n t h s ) . The m e a n  time  (56.743 m o n t h s ) w i t h  r a n g e of 0 to 138 m o n t h s . T h e m e a n time for a l l (n = 39) w a s 3.34 y e a r s  outcome.  f a m i l y for t h e  (n = 39) w a s 4.72 y e a r s  with  a  girls  (40.102 m o n t h s ) w i t h a r a n g e of 1  m o n t h to 137 m o n t h s .  INSERT TABLE 6 HERE  For the d i s r u p t e d g r o u p  (n = 40) the m e a n time  w i t h b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y w a s 4.83 y e a r s  overall  (57.9 m o n t h s ) .  m e a n time w i t h b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y for b o y s  The  (n = 22) w a s  years  (69.591 m o n t h s ) and the m e a n time for g i r l s w a s  years  (53.389  (n = 38) the m e a n time  w i t h b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y w a s 3.20 y e a r s  (n = 1 7 ) w a s  (50.470 m o n t h s ) , and the m e a n time for g i r l s (28.714  months).  overall  (38.447 m o n t h s ) .  m e a n time w i t h b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y for b o y s  w a s 2.39 y e a r s  4.44  months).  For the c o m p l e t e d g r o u p  years  5.13  The 4.20  (n =  21)  Table 6 Y e a r s Spent L i v i n g W i t h B i o l o g i c a l F a m i l y b y Overall Mean S.D.  Disrupted Mean S.D.  Gender Completed Mean S.D  Male n  4.73 39 50  3.32*  5.13 22 28  3.75  4.21 17 22  2.68  Female n %  3.34 39 50  3.08*  4.45 18 23  3.18  2.39 21 27  2.72  Overall n %  4.03 78 100  3.26  4.83 40 51  3.48**  3.20 38 49  2.82**  g.  * £ =.0595  ** £  <.05  93 There was a significant c o m p l e t i o n and m o n t h s f  correlation between  lived w i t h b i o l o g i c a l  adoption  family,  (74.18, n = 80) = 1.52, £ <.05. T h e a n a l y s i s of  variance  indicated that there was a moderate correlation  between  g e n d e r , m o n t h s lived w i t h b i o l o g i c a l  adoption  completion,  f (1, n = 82) = 3.659 2 =  f a m i l y and -0595.  For c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n p l a c e m e n t , y e a r s spent  the  mean  living w i t h their b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l i e s w a s  3.56 i  (n = 43). For the s i b l i n g g r o u p m e m b e r s w h o s e  adoptions  disrupted  biological  family was  (n = 17), the m e a n y e a r s spent w i t h 4.53. T h e r e m a i n i n g  27 c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s  of a s i b l i n g g r o u p , w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d , with their biological  the  f a m i l i e s for 2.91  lived  years.  INSERT TABLE 7 HERE  For t h o s e c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e not m e m b e r s of a g r o u p at the time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e  sibling  for a d o p t i o n  (n = 35), the m e a n n u m b e r of y e a r s spent  living  placement  with  b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y w a s 4.63. C h i l d r e n w h o w e r e not m e m b e r s of a sibling group, w h o s e a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t e d  (n = 24),  lived  w i t h their b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l i e s 5.04 y e a r s . The r e m a i n i n g c h i l d r e n in the completed, years.  'alone' group, w h o s e a d o p t i o n s  were  lived w i t h their b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l i e s for  3.85  14  Table  6  Y e a r s Spent L i v i n g w i t h B i o l o g i c a l F a m i l y b y M e m b e r s h i p in a Sibling Group Overall Mean S.D.  Disrupted Mean S.D.  Completed Mean S.D  Sibling n %  3.56 43 55  2.68  4.53 17 21  2.91  2.91 27 33  2.36*  Alone n %  4.63 35 45  3.80  5.04 24 29  3.90*  3.85 14 17  3.65  Overall n %  4.03 78 100  3.26  4.83 40 51  3.48*  3.20 38 49  2.82*  * p  <.05  95 A n a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e p r o c e d u r e i n d i c a t e d significant  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n m e m b e r s h i p in a  g r o u p , y e a r s spent  R e t u r n s to B i o l o g i c a l  f  for s e v e r a l ,  and  (35.37, n = 49), = 2.71, 2  <.05.  Family  M a n y of the c h i l d r e n  lived w i t h t h e i r  biological  s e p a r a t e e x t e n d e d p e r i o d s of  before they eventually entered permanent These children were removed different  sibling  living with biological family  adoption completion,  families  a  care  (n =  time 59).  from t h e i r p a r e n t s ' c a r e  I  on  o c c a s i o n s and r e t u r n e d to the p a r e n t s p r i o r to  a p p r e h e n s i o n that led to the m a k i n g of a p e r m a n e n t  the  order  of  g u a r d i a n s h i p . W h i l e the m e a n n u m b e r of r e t u r n s t o live w i t h biological  f a m i l y o v e r a l l , w a s 1.8 times, the m a x i m u m  number  of r e t u r n s w a s 5 (n = 59). For the d i s r u p t e d g r o u p , the n u m b e r of r e t u r n s to the b i o l o g i c a l  f a m i l y w a s 1.59. For  c o m p l e t e d g r o u p , the m e a n n u m b e r of r e t u r n s w a s For all the b o y s in the s a m p l e n u m b e r of r e t u r n s t o the b i o l o g i c a l  the  2.07.  (n = 30), the  average  f a m i l y w a s 1.9 w i t h a  r a n g e from 1 to 4 r e t u r n s . For the b o y s in the group, the a v e r a g e n u m b e r of r e t u r n s w a s 1.7 b o y s in the c o m p l e t e d g r o u p  mean  disrupted  (n = 17).  For  (n = 13), the a v e r a g e n u m b e r of  r e t u r n s to b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y w a s  2.1.  96 For all the g i r l s in the s a m p l e  (n = 29), the  average  n u m b e r of r e t u r n s to the b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y w a s 1.8 w i t h r a n g e from 1 to 5 r e t u r n s . For the g i r l s in the group  disrupted  (n = 15), the a v e r a g e n u m b e r of r e t u r n s w a s 1.5.  g i r l s in the c o m p l e t e d g r o u p returns was  a  For  (n = 14), t h e a v e r a g e n u m b e r  2.1.  A n a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e p r o c e d u r e i n d i c a t e d  no  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n n u m b e r of r e t u r n s to b i o l o g i c a l c h i l d ' s g e n d e r and a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n , f  family,  (l,n = 5 9 ) , p  >.05.  For c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e  for a d o p t i o n  n u m b e r of r e t u r n s w a s 1.97. For the  'alone' g r o u p , the m e a n significant  association between sibling group membership, number r e t u r n s to the b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y and a d o p t i o n There was no significant  the  (n = 39) the m e a n  n u m b e r of r e t u r n s w a s 1.5. T h e r e w a s n o  of  completion.  f i n d i n g w i t h r e s p e c t to the  n u m b e r of r e t u r n s to b i o l o g i c a l p a r e n t s , a d o p t i o n  completion  and any of the p r e - c a r e e x p e r i e n c e s the c h i l d r e n m a y weathered.  of  have  97 Hypothesis  # 6; C h i l d r e n p l a c e d w i t h r e l a t i v e s or w i t h  term f o s t e r p a r e n t s w i l l not e x p e r i e n c e d i s r u p t i o n at same r a t e as t h o s e p l a c e d w i t h  the  strangers.  Of t h e 82 c h i l d r e n s t u d i e d ,  19 w e r e a d o p t e d b y  their  e x i s t i n g f o s t e r p a r e n t s or b y r e l a t i v e s . Of t h e s e  19  placements,  19  3 c o n c l u d e d w i t h a d i s r u p t i o n . Of the  placements with  long-  known adoptive parents,  1  2 of the 3  p l a c e m e n t s w h i c h d i s r u p t e d w e r e w i t h r e l a t i v e s , w h i l e 3 of the c o m p l e t e d a d o p t i o n s w e r e w i t h  relatives.  A c a l c u l a t i o n of the m e a n t i m e spent  living with  the  a d o p t i v e f a m i l i e s p r i o r to a d o p t i o n w a s not p o s s i b l e due l i m i t a t i o n s i m p o s e d b y file  material.  T h e r e is a h i g h d e g r e e of c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n  placement  w i t h k n o w n a d o p t i v e p a r e n t s and a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n , t n = 82) = 3.54  £  <.001.  to  (80,  98 Hypothesis  # 7: T h e n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s  and t o t a l l e n g t h  time spent in foster h o m e s or g r o u p h o m e s p r i o r will inversely affect  N u m b e r of  to  of  placement  outcome.  placements  The m e a n n u m b e r of f o s t e r h o m e or g r o u p h o m e e x p e r i e n c e d b y the s a m p l e  placements  (n = 78) w a s 4.66. T h e m i n i m u m  n u m b e r w a s 1 and the m a x i m u m ,  11. T h e c h i l d r e n in  the  d i s r u p t e d g r o u p had a m e a n n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s of 4.7 w i t h a r a n g e from 1 to 11 p l a c e m e n t s . For the c o m p l e t e d  group,  the m e a n n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s 4.5 w i t h a r a n g e from 1 to 11 p l a c e m e n t s . T h e m e a n n u m b e r for b o y s  (n = 39) w a s  w i t h a r a n g e from 1 to 9 p l a c e m e n t s . The m e a n n u m b e r placements to 10  for g i r l s  4.38 of  (n = 39) w a s 4.94 w i t h a r a n g e from 1  placements.  INSERT TABLE 8 HERE  For the b o y s in the d i s r u p t e d g r o u p n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s  (n = 2 1 ) , the m e a n  in a foster h o m e or g r o u p h o m e  4.19. For the g i r l s in the d i s r u p t e d g r o u p m e a n n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s  5.56.  (n = 16),  was the  99 Table 8 Number of Foster and Group Home Placements by Gender Overall Mean S.D.  Disrupted Mean S.D.  Completed Mean S.D  Male n %  4.38 39 50  2.46  4.19 21 27  2.31  4.61 18 23  2.68  Female n %  4.95 39 50  2.78  5.56 16 20  2.36  4.52 23 30  3.01  Overall n %  4.67 78 100  2.62  4.78 37 47  2.40  4.56 41 53  2.83  * £  <.05  i  100 For the b o y s in the c o m p l e t e d g r o u p  (n = 18), the m e a n  n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s 4.6, w h i l e for the g i r l s the m e a n w a s 4.52  (n =  placements.  A n a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e p r o c e d u r e i n d i c a t e d that w a s n o s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e in o u t c o m e b e t w e e n b o y s g i r l s b a s e d o n n u m b e r s of p l a c e m e n t s group  23)  in f o s t e r h o m e s  there and or  homes. For c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at  time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n p l a c e m e n t , n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s 5.6  the  (n = 42). For s i b l i n g  mean  group  m e m b e r s w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d , the m e a n n u m b e r foster or g r o u p h o m e p l a c e m e n t s w a s 5.5  (n = 27).  sibling group members whose adoptions disrupted,  the  of  For the m e a n  n u m b e r of f o s t e r or g r o u p home p l a c e m e n t s w a s 5.73  (n =  15).  INSERT TABLE 9 HERE  For c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e not m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at the time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n  placement  ('alone') the m e a n n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s in foster or h o m e s w a s 3.6  (n = 36). For m e m b e r s of the  'alone'  group  group  w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d , the m e a n n u m b e r of foster  or  101 g r o u p h o m e p l a c e m e n t s w a s 2.6  (n = 14). For m e m b e r s of  the  'alone' g r o u p w h o s e a d o p t i o n s d i s r u p t e d , the m e a n n u m b e r f o s t e r or g r o u p h o m e p l a c e m e n t s w a s 4.13 A n a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e p r o c e d u r e was no significant difference  (n =  22).  indicated that  in o u t c o m e b e t w e e n  'alone' b a s e d o n the n u m b e r of foster or g r o u p  placements,  f (1, n = 78) =  .1384, £  >.05.  there  the  c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p and t h o s e were  of  who  home  102  Table 9 Number of Foster and Group Home Placements by Membership in a Sibling Group Overall Mean S.D.  Disrupted Mean S.D.  Completed Mean S.D  Sibling n %  5.62 42 54  2.69  5.73 15 19  2.74  5.56 27 35  2.71  Alone n %  3.56 36 46  2.09  4.14 22 28  1.96  2.64 14 18  2.02  Overall n %  4.67 78 100  2.63  4.78 37 47  2.41  4.56 41 53  2.84  103 However,  an a n a l y s i s e x a m i n i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p  g e n d e r , n u m b e r of f o s t e r or g r o u p h o m e p l a c e m e n t s a d o p t i o n o u t c o m e , c o n t r o l l i n g for s i b l i n g revealed a significant f  correlation  for  between  and  membership,  gender,  (1, n = 78) = 1 3 . 9 7 8 , p <.001. In this c a s e , t h e m e a n  n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s similar the g r o u p of s i b l i n g s a v a i l a b l e  for b o t h b o y s a n d g i r l s for a d o p t i o n at the  same  time - a m e a n of 5.61 p l a c e m e n t s and little v a r i a t i o n g e n d e r or c o m p l e t i o n . For the  'alone'group,  the m e a n  across was  3.56 p l a c e m e n t s . The b o y s in this g r o u p w h o s e a d o p t i o n s c o m p l e t e d had a m e a n of 3.4 p l a c e m e n t s , w h i l e the whose adoptions were completed had a mean number p l a c e m e n t s of 1.86. T h e  were  girls of  'alone' b o y s w h o s e a d o p t i o n s  not c o m p l e t e d had a m e a n of 3.6 p l a c e m e n t s , w h i l e  in  were  the  'alone' g i r l s w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e n o t c o m p l e t e d h a d a m e a n of 5 p l a c e m e n t s .  Time in foster homes and group homes. The m e a n n u m b e r of m o n t h s spent living in e i t h e r  a  foster h o m e or a g r o u p h o m e b y all of the c h i l d r e n in the sample  (n = 82) w a s 44.76 m o n t h s . H o w e v e r the r a n g e  shows  that the m i n i m u m n u m b e r of m o n t h s w a s 1 w h i l e the m a x i m u m w a s 140 m o n t h s . For the c h i l d r e n w h o s e a d o p t i o n s  disrupted,  the m e a n amount n u m b e r of m o n t h s spent living in foster  or  104 g r o u p h o m e s w a s 39.70. T h e r a n g e w a s from 1 m o n t h to  119  m o n t h s . For the c h i l d r e n w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d ,  the  m e a n n u m b e r of m o n t h s w a s 49.82 w i t h a r a n g e from 4 m o n t h s to 141 m o n t h s .  I N S E R T T A B L E 10 H E R E  For b o y s o v e r a l l , the m e a n n u m b e r of m o n t h s spent e i t h e r a f o s t e r h o m e or a g r o u p h o m e w a s 43.24, w i t h m i n i m u m of 1 m o n t h and a m a x i m u m of 140 m o n t h s . For  in  a girls  the f i g u r e w a s 46.29, w i t h a m i n i m u m of 4 m o n t h s and a m a x i m u m of 135 m o n t h s . For the b o y s in the d i s r u p t e d g r o u p , the m e a n spent in foster or g r o u p home p l a c e m e n t s w a s 33.74 w h i l e for the g i r l s the f i g u r e w a s 47.33  months,  months.  For the b o y s in the c o m p l e t e d group, the m e a n spent in foster or g r o u p home p l a c e m e n t s w a s 55.39 w h i l e for the g i r l s the f i g u r e w a s 45.48  time  time months,  months.  The a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e p r o c e d u r e i n d i c a t e d that n u m b e r of m o n t h s spent in foster or g r o u p h o m e  placements  d i d not affect the o u t c o m e of the a d o p t i o n w h e n the w a s split by  gender.  the  sample  105 Table 10 M o n t h s In F o s t e r and G r o u p H o m e P l a c e m e n t s b y Overall Mean S.P.  Gender  Disrupted Mean S.P.  Completed Mean S.P  Male n %  43.24 41 50  32.2  33.74 23 28  26.7  55.38 18 22  35.3  Female n %  46.30 41 50  31.8  47.33 18 22  31.7  45.48 23 28  32.6  Overall n %  44.76 82 100  31.9  39.71 41 50  29.4  49.83 41 50  33.7  106 For c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e  for a d o p t i o n , the m e a n n u m b e r  m o n t h s spent in f o s t e r or g r o u p h o m e p l a c e m e n t s w a s  of  48.7.  T h e m i n i m u m n u m b e r of m o n t h s w a s 1 w i t h a m a x i m u m n u m b e r 141. S i b l i n g g r o u p m e m b e r s w h o s e a d o p t i o n s d i s r u p t e d an a v e r a g e of 35.2 m o n t h s in foster or g r o u p h o m e s . w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d spent an a v e r a g e of m o n t h s in foster or g r o u p  the  of  spent Those  57.3  homes.  I N S E R T T A B L E 11 H E R E  The c h i l d r e n in the  'alone'group spent an a v e r a g e  of  40.2 m o n t h s in such p l a c e m e n t s w i t h a r a n g e from 10 m o n t h s to 119 m o n t h s . C h i l d r e n in the a l o n e g r o u p w h o s e  adoptions  d i s r u p t e d spent an a v e r a g e of 42.9 m o n t h s in f o s t e r or home p l a c e m e n t s . T h o s e w h o s e a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d an a v e r a g e of 20.2 m o n t h s in foster or g r o u p placements.  home  group spent  107 Table 11 Months In Foster and Group Home Placements by Membership in a Sibling Group Overall Mean S.D.  Mean  Disrupted S.D.  Completed Mean £LD  Sibling n %  48.7 44 54  34.8  35.2 17 21  26.3  57.3 27 33  37.1  Alone n %  40.2 38 46  27.9  42.9 24 29  31.6  35.5 14 17  20.2  Overall n %  44.7 82 100  31.9  39.7 41 50  29.4  49.8 41 50  33 7  * £  <.05  108 Hypothesis  # 8: The p r e - c a r e e x p e r i e n c e s of c h i l d r e n  will  affect a d o p t i o n o u t c o m e . T h o s e c h i l d r e n w i t h h i s t o r i e s p h y s i c a l and s e x u a l a b u s e w i l l fare p o o r l y in  R e a s o n for e n t e r i n g (A) A b a n d o n e d  (n =  of  adoption.  care 81)  F i f t e e n of the s a m p l e c h i l d r e n e n t e r e d c a r e as a r e s u l t of a b a n d o n m e n t . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 6 of t h e s e c h i l d r e n disrupted,  chi-square  (1, n = 81) =  were  .269, p >.05. T h e r e  no c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n a b a n d o n m e n t and a d o p t i o n w h e r e the child w a s not a m e m b e r of a s i b l i n g  was  disruption  group.  I N S E R T T A B L E 12 H E R E  C h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a sibling g r o u p for a d o p t i o n at the time of p l a c e m e n t care as the result of a b a n d o n m e n t disruptions.  (n = 44) w h o  C h i l d r e n w h o w e r e in the  6 disrupted  adoptions.  entered  (n = 8) e x p e r i e n c e d 'alone' g r o u p  and w h o w e r e e n t e r e d care d u e to a b a n d o n m e n t experienced  available  (n =  7)  no  (n =  37)  109 T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a b a n d o n m e n t o u t c o m e , c o n t r o l l i n g for s i b l i n g m e m b e r s h i p , significant 2  correlation,  chi-square  and  adoption  indicated  (1, n = 44) =  a  4.325,  <.05\  (B) P h y s i c a l l y a b u s e d  (n =  80)  T h i r t y of the s a m p l e c h i l d r e n e n t e r e d c a r e as a r e s u l t of h a v i n g b e e n p h y s i c a l l y a b u s e d . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 10 of these children disrupted. A chi-square analysis indicated a s s o c i a t i o n b e t w e e n p h y s i c a l a b u s e and a d o p t i o n chi-square  (l,n = 80) = 3.632, £ =  an  completion,  .056.  Of the g r o u p of c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care as a result of h a v i n g b e e n p h y s i c a l l y a b u s e d , girls. Disruptions occurred  13 w e r e b o y s and 17 w e r e  in 3 of the b o y s ' p l a c e m e n t s  in 7 of the g i r l s ' p l a c e m e n t s . A c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s p h y s i c a l a b u s e as a r e a s o n for e n t e r i n g care w i t h outcome, controlling the g i r l s , c h i - s q u a r e  of  adoption  for g e n d e r r e v e a l e d no s i g n i f i c a n c e (1, n = 40) =  .0000, 2 >-05.  and  for  However,  a s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n p h y s i c a l a b u s e as a r e a s o n for e n t e r i n g care and a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n e x i s t e d for chi-square  (1, n = 40) = 6.134, £ =  .0133.  boys,  110 Table 12 Reason for entering care by Disrupted and Completed Groups, Controlling for Gender and Membership in a Sibling Group. R e a s o n for entering care  Disrupted %  Completed %  2  X  Abandoned Boys Girls Sibling Alone  7.4 9.8 5.0 0 16.2  Physically Abused Boys Girls Sibling Alone  12.3  CM  3.63*  7.5 17.5 4.7 21,6  25.0 25.0 37.2 10.8  6.134* .0000 7.2069* .0008  11.1  13.6  .0166  5.0 17.5 11.6 10.8  17.5 10.0 16.3 10.8  3.4770" 1.7089 .0006 .1516  7.5  11.3  .2168  5.0 10.0 2.3 13.5  17.5 5.0 14.0 8.1  3.4770" .7241 .8911 .0000  23.8  40.0  6.2257*  25.0 22.5 20.9 27.0  30.0 50.0 53.5 24.3  1.0447 4.0949* 3.0291 .7903  Sexually Abused Boys Girls Sibling Alone Emotionally Abused Boys Girls Sibling Alone Parental Alcohol Abuse Boys Girls Sibling Alone  * 2 <.05  ** p <.005  *** p <.001  11.1 14.6 7.5 18.2 2.7  .269 .6613 .0000 4.3257* .9883  * 2 = .0622  b  £  = .0073  Table 12 (continued) R e a s o n for entering care  Disrupted %  X  Completed %  2  Parental Drug Abuse Boys Girls Sibling Alone  13.8  7.5  1.4635  15.0 12.5 14.0 13.5  7.5 7.5 7.0 8.1  .1752 .7736 2.7832 .0000  Relinquished Boys Girls Sibling Alone  6.3 12.5 0 4.7 8.1  0 0 0 0 0  3.6327 2.8282  3.8 2.5 2.0 4.7 2.7  0 0 0 0 0  1.4920 .0000 .9099 1.2821 .0000  Parents Deceased Boys Girls Sibling Alone Chronic Neglect Boys Girls Sibling Alone Parent Mentally Boys Girls Sibling Alone  1.2821 .6221  25.6 23.1 28.2 22.0 29.7  41.0 33.3 48.7 53.7 27.0  4.0169 2.3096 .3894 .6928 1.6396  7.4 7.3 7.5 9.1 5.4  8.6 9.8 7.5 4.5 13.5  .0000 .1274 .2222 1.1368 2.5674  2.5 5.1 0 2.4 2.7  20.3 12.8 27.5 19.0 21.6  10.9301 1.1285 8.9438 1.8101 10.4652  111  Other Reason Boys Girls Sibling Alone  * £ <.05  -  ** 2 <.005  *** 2 <-001  " 2 =  -0567  112 C h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p w h o e n t e r e d care d u e to p h y s i c a l a b u s e  (n = 18)  (n =  experienced  2 disruptions. The chi-square analysis indicated that was a significant £ =  finding, chi-square  .0073. C h i l d r e n in the  d u e to p h y s i c a l a b u s e  this  (1, n = 43) = 7 . 2 0 6 ,  'alone' g r o u p w h o e n t e r e d  (n = 12) e x p e r i e n c e d  There was no significant  44),  care  8 disruptions.  correlation between physical  abuse  and a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n w h e r e the child w a s not a m e m b e r a sibling  group.  (C) S e x u a l l y abused  (n = 80)  T w e n t y of the s a m p l e c h i l d r e n w e r e s e x u a l l y a b u s e d . these,  of  9 experienced  an a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h e r e w a s  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n s e x u a l a b u s e and d i s r u p t i o n , (1, n = 80) =  .0166, p >  Of  no  chi-square  .05.  Of the g r o u p of c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care as a result of h a v i n g b e e n s e x u a l l y a b u s e d ,  9 w e r e b o y s and 11 w e r e  g i r l s . D i s r u p t i o n s o c c u r r e d in 2 of the b o y s ' p l a c e m e n t s in 7 of the g i r l s '  placements.  The c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n o u t c o m e c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care as a r e s u l t of sexual c o n t r o l l i n g for g e n d e r , chi-square  and  for abuse,  indicated n o s i g n i f i c a n c e  for  (1, n = 40) = 1.708, £ >.05. H o w e v e r for  the c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s indicated a t e n d e n c y for  girls,  boys,  sexual  113 a b u s e as a r e a s o n for e n t e r i n g c a r e to i n f l u e n c e outcome, chi-square  (1, n = 40) = 3.477, p =  adoption  .0622.  Of the g r o u p of c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care as a r e s u l t of b e i n g s e x u a l l y a b u s e d ,  12 w e r e m e m b e r s of a  sibling  g r o u p . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 5 of t h e s e c h i l d r e n d i s r u p t e d . were  8 c h i l d r e n in the  There  'alone' g r o u p w h o e n t e r e d c a r e as a  result of h a v i n g b e e n s e x u a l l y a b u s e d . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 4 of them  disrupted. The c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n o u t c o m e  c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care as a r e s u l t of b e i n g abused, controlling  with  sexually  for g e n d e r i n d i c a t e d that t h e r e w a s  significant correlation (D) E m o t i o n a l l y a b u s e d  (See T a b l e  12).  (n = 80)  F i f t e e n of the c h i l d r e n e n t e r e d c a r e d u e to  emotional  a b u s e . T h e p l a c e m e n t s of 6 of t h e s e c h i l d r e n d i s r u p t e d . chi-square analysis  i n d i c a t e d that t h e r e w a s no  .2168, p  chi-square  >.05.  Of the g r o u p of c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care d u e e m o t i o n a l abuse,  9 w e r e b o y s and 6 w e r e g i r l s .  to  Disrupted  a d o p t i o n s w e r e e x p e r i e n c e d b y 2 of the b o y s and 4 of girls.  The  correlation  b e t w e e n e m o t i o n a l a b u s e and a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n , (1, n = 80) =  no  the  T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h  e m o t i o n a l abuse, c o n t r o l l i n g for g e n d e r , i n d i c a t e d  a  114 t e n d e n c y t o w a r d c o r r e l a t i o n w i t h d i s r u p t i o n for t h e chi-square analysis  (1, n = 40) = 3.477, £ =  indicated no correlation  .0622". T h e  for the g i r l s  boys,  chi-square (See  Table  12). Of the c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d c a r e as a r e s u l t  of  e m o t i o n a l abuse, 7 w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n p l a c e m e n t . Of children,  1 experienced  c h i l d r e n in the  these  an a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h e r e w e r e  'alone' g r o u p w h o e n t e r e d c a r e as a  of e m o t i o n a l a b u s e . The a d o p t i o n s of 5 c h i l d r e n  (E) P a r e n t a l a l c o h o l a b u s e  result  emotional  abuse, c o n t r o l l i n g for s i b l i n g m e m b e r s h i p , i n d i c a t e d (See T a b l e  that  12).  (n = 8 0 )  T h e p a r e n t s of 51 of the c h i l d r e n w e r e r e p o r t e d a b u s e a l c o h o l . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 19 of t h o s e c h i l d r e n parents were alcoholics disrupted. The chi-square  to whose  analysis  i n d i c a t e d that t h e r e w a s a c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n a l c o h o l and a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n ,  8  disrupted.  T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n o u t c o m e w i t h  t h e r e w a s no c o r r e l a t i o n  the  abuse  in that the a d o p t i o n s of 62% of  the  c h i l d r e n in the s a m p l e w h o s e p a r e n t s abused a l c o h o l w e r e c o m p l e t e d c o m p a r e d to 31% of the c h i l d r e n w h o s e p a r e n t s not a b u s e a l c o h o l , c h i - s q u a r e  (1, n = . 8 0 ) = 6.225, p  did  <.05.  115 Of the c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d c a r e d u e to  parental  a l c o h o l abuse, 22 w e r e b o y s and 29 g i r l s . T h e a d o p t i o n s 10 of the b o y s and 9 of the g i r l s w h o s e p a r e n t s  were  a l c o h o l i c s , d i s r u p t e d . T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of  adoption  c o m p l e t i o n w i t h p a r e n t a l a l c o h o l abuse, c o n t r o l l i n g gender,  i n d i c a t e d no c o r r e l a t i o n for the b o y s  12). H o w e v e r ,  of  (See  for Table  for the g i r l s , the c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s  of  adoption completion with parental alcohol abuse,  controlling  for g e n d e r ,  chi-square  indicated a significant  correlation,  <.05. 9  (1, n = 40), = 4.094, p  C h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n w h o s e p a r e n t s alcohol  (n = 32) e x p e r i e n c e d  the abused  9 disrupted adoptions. The  s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h p a r e n t a l abuse, c o n t r o l l i n g for m e m b e r s h i p in a s i b l i n g i n d i c a t e d no c o r r e l a t i o n  (See T a b l e  alcohol  group,  12).  T h e r e w e r e 19 c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e in the  'alone'  w h o e n t e r e d care d u e to p a r e n t a l a l c o h o l a b u s e .  of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h p a r e n t a l a l c o h o l  group  The  a d o p t i o n s of 10 of them d i s r u p t e d . T h e c h i - s q u a r e  analysis  abuse,  controlling  for m e m b e r s h i p in a s i b l i n g g r o u p i n d i c a t e d  correlation  (See T a b l e  12).  chi-  no  116 (F) P a r e n t a l d r u g a b u s e  (n =  80)  The p a r e n t s of 17 of the c h i l d r e n in the s a m p l e w e r e r e p o r t e d to a b u s e d r u g s . Of t h e s e , the a d o p t i o n s of children disrupted. There was no correlation p a r e n t a l d r u g a b u s e and a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n  11  between (See T a b l e  T h e p a r e n t s of 9 of the b o y s and 8 of the g i r l s  12).  were  r e p o r t e d to a b u s e d r u g s . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 6 of the b o y s 5 of the g i r l s d i s r u p t e d . T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h p a r e n t a l d r u g abuse, for g e n d e r , i n d i c a t e d n o c o r r e l a t i o n  and  of  controlling  (See T a b l e  12).  The p a r e n t s of 9 of the c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a s i b l i n g g r o u p at the time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for  adoption,  w e r e r e p o r t e d to a b u s e d r u g s . T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h p a r e n t a l d r u g abuse, for m e m b e r s h i p in a s i b l i n g g r o u p i n d i c a t e d n o (See T a b l e  of  controlling correlation  12).  (G) R e l i n q u i s h e d b y b i o l o g i c a l p a r e n t  (n =  80)  T h e r e w e r e 5 c h i l d r e n in the s a m p l e w h o w e r e r e l i n q u i s h e d by t h e i r b i o l o g i c a l p a r e n t s . A l l of adoptions disrupted. There was a moderate  these  relationship  b e t w e e n d i s r u p t i o n and r e l i n q u i s h m e n t by b i o l o g i c a l chi-square  (l,n = 80) = 3.632, p =  .0S6.  parents,  117 A l l 5 of the c h i l d r e n r e l i n q u i s h e d b y t h e i r  parents  w e r e b o y s . A l t h o u g h t h i s f i n d i n g is i n t e r e s t i n g , s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h c o n t r o l l i n g for g e n d e r i n d i c a t e d no T h e r e w e r e two c h i l d r e n  significance.  (brothers) w h o w e r e m e m b e r s  adoption, relinquished by biological parents,  (n =  for  adoption  c o n t r o l l i n g for m e m b e r s h i p  a s i b l i n g g r o u p , i n d i c a t e d no c o r r e l a t i o n  (See T a b l e  80) parents  w e r e d e c e a s e d . N o n e of t h e s e a d o p t i o n s w a s c o m p l e t e d . c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h indicated no correlation  (See T a b l e  The  parents  12).  T h e r e w e r e 1 b o y and 2 g i r l s w h o e n t e r e d c a r e d u e the d e a t h of their p a r e n t s . T h e c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s adoption completion by parents deceased correlation  (See T a b l e  in  12).  T h e r e w e r e 3 c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d c a r e as t h e i r  deceased  of  whose  a d o p t i o n s d i s r u p t e d . The c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of  (H) P a r e n t d e c e a s e d  chi-  relinquishment,  a s i b l i n g g r o u p at the time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e  completion by relinquishment,  the  indicated  to  of  no  12).  T h e r e w e r e 2 c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a  sibling  g r o u p at the time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n  placement  w h o e n t e r e d care due to the d e a t h of their p a r e n t s . T h e square a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h  parents  chi-  118 deceased, controlling  for m e m b e r s h i p in a s i b l i n g  i n d i c a t e d no c o r r e l a t i o n  (See T a b l e  (I) C h r o n i c n e g l e c t  78)  (n =  group  12).  T h e r e w e r e 52 c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care d u e to  chronic  n e g l e c t . Of these, the a d o p t i o n s of 20 w e r e d i s r u p t e d . c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h neglect  indicates a significant  (1, n = 78) = 4.016, p There were  relationship,  chronic  chi-square  <.05.  22 b o y s w h o e n t e r e d c a r e due to  n e g l e c t , the a d o p t i o n s of 9 of t h e s e c h i l d r e n  chronic  disrupted.  T h e r e w e r e 30 g i r l s w h o e n t e r e d care due to c h r o n i c  neglect.  T h e a d o p t i o n s of 11 of these c h i l d r e n d i s r u p t e d . The s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h c h r o n i c controlling  for g e n d e r ,  The  indicted no c o r r e l a t i o n  chineglect,  (See T a b l e  12). T h e r e w e r e 31 c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of a g r o u p at the time t h e y w e r e a v a i l a b l e for a d o p t i o n  sibling placement  w h o e n t e r e d care due to c h r o n i c n e g l e c t . The a d o p t i o n s of 9 of t h e s e c h i l d r e n d i s r u p t e d . The c h i - s q u a r e a n a l y s i s adoption completion with chronic neglect, controlling  of for  m e m b e r s h i p in a sibling group, i n d i c a t e d no c o r r e l a t i o n Table  12).  (See  119 (J) P a r e n t m e n t a l l y  ill  (n =  81)  T h e r e w e r e 13 c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d c a r e d u e to p a r e n t s ' m e n t a l i l l n e s s . Of t h e s e ,  6 experienced an  d i s r u p t i o n . T h e r e w a s no s i g n i f i c a n t  (See T a b l e  adoption  f i n d i n g for the  as a w h o l e nor for the s u b - g r o u p s b y g e n d e r and group membership  their  group  sibling  12).  (K) P a r e n t m e n t a l l y h a n d i c a p p e d  (n =  80)  T h e r e w e r e 3 c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care d u e to p a r e n t s ' m e n t a l h a n d i c a p . Of t h e s e c h i l d r e n ,  1 experienced  an a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . T h e r e w a s no s i g n i f i c a n t w i t h r e s p e c t to this v a r i a b l e  their  finding  for the g r o u p as a w h o l e  nor  for the s u b - g r o u p s b y g e n d e r and sibling g r o u p m e m b e r s h i p . (L) O t h e r r e a s o n for e n t e r i n g care  (n =  79)  T h e r e w e r e a n u m b e r of other r e a s o n s for entering care. Among these were:  children  "parents' c r i s i s  oriented  lifestyle", mentally handicapped parents' history  of  d r i n k i n g and v i o l e n c e , d e a t h of m o t h e r and effect of this f a t h e r , m o t h e r r e f u s i n g to p r o t e c t child from b o y f r i e n d or c o m m o n - l a w h u s b a n d , to p r o v i d e care  h i s t o r y of f a m i l y c o n f l i c t , parents'  abusive  adoptive parents'  (where a d o p t i o n w a s p r e v i o u s l y lack of p r o p e r  t r a n s i e n c e , m u r d e r b y p a r e n t of  on  inability  completed),  supervision/care,  another  child.  120 T h e r e w e r e 18 c h i l d r e n w h o e n t e r e d care for r e a s o n s ' . Of these,  'other  16 a d o p t i o n s w e r e c o m p l e t e d . T h e  chi-  s q u a r e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h o t h e r r e a s o n e n t e r i n g care i n d i c a t e s that t h e r e is a v e r y  significant  c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n this v a r i a b l e and a d o p t i o n chi-square  (1, n = 79) = 10.93, £  completion,  <.001.  T h e r e w e r e 7 b o y s w h o e n t e r e d c a r e d u e to  'other  r e a s o n s ' . T h e a d o p t i o n s of 2 of them d i s r u p t e d . A a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n b y  'other  12). T h e r e w e r e 11 g i r l s w h o e n t e r e d care for  'other  chi-square  reason',  c o n t r o l l i n g for s i b l i n g m e m b e r s h i p , i n d i c a t e d a  Hypothesis  (See T a b l e  'other  r e a s o n s ' . N o n e of t h e s e a d o p t i o n s d i s r u p t e d . T h e a n a l y s i s of a d o p t i o n c o m p l e t i o n w i t h  chi-square  reason',  c o n t r o l l i n g for g e n d e r , i n d i c a t e d no c o r r e l a t i o n  relationship, chi-square  (l,n = 40) = 8.943, p  significant <.005.  # 9: C h i l d r e n w i t h m u l t i p l e s p e c i a l n e e d s  e x p e r i e n c e a g r e a t e r n u m b e r of  for  will  disruptions.  A l l of the c h i l d r e n in the s a m p l e w e r e , b y  definition,  s p e c i a l n e e d s c h i l d r e n . A l l w e r e over two y e a r s of age so this v a r i a b l e w a s not c o n s i d e r e d c r i t i c a l . The g r o u p w a s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d b y a v a r i e t y of d i f f i c u l t i e s . T h e  category,  121 o t h e r s p e c i a l need,  identified  c h i l d r e n w i t h the  t y p e s of s p e c i a l n e e d s : b e h a v i o u r a l d i f f i c u l t i e s h i s t o r y of m u l t i p l e a b u s e  following ( n =  (n =10), s p e c i a l need of  sibling  (n = 1), f a m i l y h i s t o r y of m e n t a l i l l n e s s  (n = 2),  a c t i n g out  (n = 5) and  (n = 3), t r a n s i e n c y of p a r e n t s  and l a n g u a g e d e l a y s  (n = 2).  I N S E R T T A B L E 13 H E R E  13),  sexual speech  122  Table14(continued) P o s t - p l a c e m e n tFactorsby Disrupted and Completed Adoptions Controlling for Gender and Membership in a Sibling Group Special Need Non-caucasian Boys Girls Sibling Alone  >C'  Disrupted  Completed  26.8  32.9 31.7 34.1 45.5 18.4  .8113 2.3209 .0031  2.4  4.9 4.9 4.9  .8519 .0488 .3050  24.4 29.3  18.2 36.8  2.2261 .0256  Uncertain prognosis Boys Girls Sibling Alone  1.2  2.6  10.5  2.7204  Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Boys Girls Sibling Alone  1.2  1.2  .0000  2.4  .0000 .0000  2.6  .0764  1.2  .0000  2.4  .0000  2.6  .0764  1.2  .0000  2.4  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Boys Girls Sibling Alone Born Drug Dependent Boys Girls Sibling Alone  2.4 4.9  2.4 5.3  2.6  .3050  .0000 .0000  123 Table 14 (continued) \  P o s t - p l a c e m e n tFactorsby Disrupted and Completed Adoptions Controlling for Gender and Membership in a Sibling Group Special Need Specific Medical Problem Boys Girls Sibling Alone Multiply Handicapped Boys Girls Sibling Alone Other Special Need Boys Girls Sibling Alone ** p  <.005  Disrupted  Completed  %  2C"  7.4  4.9  .1440  12.2 2.5 4.5 10.8  2.4 7.5  1.0196 .0454 1.1685 .1516  10.8  1.2 2.4  1.2 2.4  .0000 .0000  2.6  2.6  .0000  14.6 9.8 19.5 15.9 13.2  23.2 29.3 17.1 29.5 15.8  1.8671 8.3367** .3570 .0199 1.1519  124 There was no single defined special need which stood out as significant in terms of effect or number (with the exception of the sibling group category which is discussed in some detail above). Some children presented with more than one special need at the time of adoption placement. The classification was checked for each 'special need' the child exhibited. When the cross-tabulation controls for whether the child is a member of a sibling group, no significance was noted for any of the special needs listed.  There was no  significance attached to the gender of the child with respect to any of the categories of special need identified with the exception of boys who were identified as having 'other special needs'. These were most commonly identified as emotional/behavioural problems. Post-placement issues The analysis revealed that there were few areas of significance among the variables examined. Table 14 indicates the results of this secondary check of the file material. As can be seen, the examination of whether the child revealed abuse or neglect prior to placement, after adoption was not a significant factor. However, none of the cases where the child revealed emotional abuse, neglect or  125 sexual abuse were completed. As the numbers of these cases were very small, statistical calculation was not performed. The 'differences' the child exhibited compared to the picture presented to the adoptive parents was significant in only one area, that of emotional behaviour. Although the chi-square analysis is not absolute in this case, it is noteworthy that all five of the cases where the file material reported that the child was emotionally different were cases which disrupted prior to completion.  INSERT TABLE 14 HERE  126  Table 14 (continued) Post-placement Factors by Disrupted and Completed Adoptions Controlling for Gender and Membership in a Sibling Group Factor  Disrupted  Completed (Fisher)  Child placed as requested Boys Girls Sibling Alone  32.0 34.3 30.0 22.5 42.9  46.7 37.1 55.0 55.0 37.1  1.6181 .0000 3.0510 .2160 1.2974  Child requires treatment Boys Girls Sibling Alone  23.7 23.7 23.7 22.5 25.0  18.4 23.7 17.5 25.0  21.1  .7269 .0027 .8594 5.1709* 1.0519  Local treatment available Boys Girls Sibling Alone  42.9 41.2 44.4 44.4 41.2  42.9 41.2 44.4 38.9 47.2  2.5715 (.1764) (.2914) (.2022) (.2647)  2.5 5.1  2.5 2.6 2.4 2.4 2.6  Child medically different Boys Girls Sibling Alone  2.4 2.6  Child emotionally different Boys Girls Sibling Alone  6.3 5.1 7.5 4.8 8.1  * £ <.05  .0000  .0000 .0000 .0000 .0000 3.7536*" .3795 2.2128 1.4116 .6221  " 2/4 cells had expected values < 5  127 Table 14 (continued) Post-placement Factors by Disrupted and Completed Adoptions Controlling for Gender and Membership in a Sibling Group Factor  Disrupted %  7.7 7.9 7.5 7.1 8.3  Child w a s sexually abused Boys Girls Sibling Alone  4.2 5.7 2.7 2.6 5.9  1.3  2.9898 .1746  2.4  1.3815  2.6  2.2128 .6800  2.0713 .5931 .0646 .2213 .2295  abused  Child w a s neglected Boys Girls Sibling Alone Probation extended Boys Girls Sibling Alone * 2 < .05  2C (Fisher)  Child b e h a v i o u r a l l y different Boys Girls Sibling Alone  Child w a s physically Boys Girls Sibling Alone  Completed  2.7  .7691  5.3  1.1152  5.9  .0419  15.9 16.2 18.9 15.9 20.0  13.4 18.9  10.8  20.5 6.7  10.1666* .0146 3.0061 .0419 1.1047  128  DISCUSSION Charlie was born in September 1978 and is a handsome, healthy, active youngster who has been in foster care almost half his life. He is active in the Boy's Club and loves to play most sports. Charlie is in a regular classroom where he likes to read, does average work and has a desire to learn. He needs assistance in talking about feelings and reacting appropriately - it is easier for Charlie to act out his feelings than to talk about them, and it can be hard to remember rules. Charlie needs a family who is patient, firm and able to set consistent guidelines. He is, however, a charming little boy who could be a loving family member. (Adoptalk, Summer 1990. p.19)  The discussion below describes a lot of 'Charlies'. Despite handicaps and disadvantages, it is vital to keep uppermost the idea that the subjects of this research paper are children. It is all too easy to dive into the numbers and statistics and forget the very human face of adoption today. It is the face of a lonely child waiting to become a "loving family member". Through understanding the nature of special needs adoptions and of the disruptions that will inevitably ensue, it is hoped that greater knowledge of the issues will lead to improved practice and policy. The discussion below follows the same format as the previous chapter, centered on the core hypotheses.  129 Hypothesis # 1: There will be no significant difference in outcome between boys and girls.  The analysis indicated that there was no significant difference in outcome attached to gender. While there were more boys than girls in the disrupted group, and more girls than boys in the completed group, this difference was not significant. There were, however, some significant differences noted when the analysis of other factors controlled for gender. Knowledge of the gender of a child without consideration of any other factors will not assist in identifying children with an elevated risk of adoption disruption. This finding is consistent with previous disruption studies. Barth and Berry also noted the prevalence of boys in the disrupted group, but indicated that there were also more boys in their total sample. The influence of gender is discussed in each section below.  Hypothesis # 2: Children placed with siblings will be more likely to experience fewer disruptions.  The findings discussed in the previous chapter point soundly to the confirmation of the hypothesis. Children placed with their siblings who were available for adoption at the same time experienced far fewer disruptions than children placed alone. This issue is met with some diversity  130 of opinion in the literature. Kadushin and Martin (1988) report that "the research generally suggests that placing siblings together increases the risk of disruption" (p.590). However, Barth and Berry's (1988) research supports the hypothesis as does Festinger's (1986). There are no reasonable alternative explanations as to why there are more siblings in the completed adoption group other than the question of whether this group of siblings is truly representative of the groups of siblings in care who are awaiting adoption placement. However, the same caution holds for the children in the 'alone' group. In addition, the random selection of completed adoption files tends to narrow the likelihood that this particular sample is markedly different from other adopted children. Were this the case, more pronounced differences between the disrupted and completed groups would likely have been observed. Common sense tells us that siblings ought to do better when placed together - the children have natural allies, a we11-developed sense of their own history, and security in the knowledge of having endured a shared history of abuse and/or neglect. Kagan and Reid (1986) examined this point in their review of youths placed for adoption. A youth's ability to maintain himself or herself in an adoptive family is related'to the intensity of the anxiety and anger youths carry with them from their biological families. The six children . . who were placed with their siblings were less' emotionally disturbed, had more supports and were most likely to perceive themselves in a normal context than the other placed youths.  131 Additionally, such children were less likely to have been the scapegoats in their biological families . . . Children placed apart from siblings would conceivably be more likely to experience (and accept) the burden of pathology in their family, (p.70) Implications for policy and practice While common sense tells us that there is a logical basis for the success of sibling adoption placements, prevailing wisdom assigns a greater degree of risk to them. The direct implication of this finding is that greater emphasis must be placed on disseminating findings of research to adoptive applicants (and the public generally). In addition, efforts must be made to encourage siblings placed apart to maintain contact. Policy must be clear on this point and require social workers to locate siblings and explore their circumstances prior to placing a child apart from his/her brothers and sisters. The policy should require that if placement together is not an option, arrangements should be made for contact throughout childhood. In those rare circumstances where children must be kept apart due to concerns about inter-sibling abuse, the children's wishes about contact must be respected. Each of the sections below reviews sibling presence in addition to the main finding.  132 Hypothesis # 3: Children who are able to maintain contact with their siblings are more likely to experience fewer disruptions.  As noted in the results chapter, there was insufficient information available to test this hypothesis. While instinctively it appears that it must be true, based on the finding with respect to sibling placement, there was not a means of deriving accurate information from the files. Visiting may have taken place and not been reported, or may never have taken place due to a number of factors including lack of knowledge that the child had siblings! This is an important area in the development of the child's sense of self and should be examined further. One hears stories and reads accounts of children separated when very young and placed in different homes. When later re-united, they discover to their sadness that they are missing a common history to help them interpret the events in their lives. Tragically, in the fairly small communities of British Columbia, these children may have been within a short distance of each other and yet never know the comfort of contact. Further investigation of the role that sibling.visiting plays in adoption completion is called for. It is a shortcoming of this study that this issue could not be canvassed. While there are a number of variables which would  133 a f f e c t the q u a l i t y and q u a n t i t y of s i b l i n g v i s i t i n g common parentage,  age d i f f e r e n c e s , c o m m o n life  e f f e c t of i n t e r - s i b l i n g a b u s e ) ,  experience,  the q u e s t i o n a p p e a r s to b e a r  g r e a t l y on the q u a l i t y of life of  Hypothesis  (such as  adoptees.  # 4: T h e d i s r u p t e d g r o u p w i l l be m a r k e d  by  c h i l d r e n w h o are o l d e r at the age w h e n l e g a l l y free o l d e r at the time of  and  placement.  T h i s h y p o t h e s i s w a s s u p p o r t e d b y the d a t a a n a l y s i s . w i t h all o t h e r a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n s t u d i e s ,  the age at  time of p l a c e m e n t w a s a c r i t i c a l factor in the o u t c o m e of the a d o p t i o n . H o w e v e r ,  it as i m p o r t a n t to  h a s not a l w a y s b e e n a m p l i f i e d in p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s .  from t e r m i n a t i o n  p a r e n t a l r i g h t s to a d o p t i o n p l a c e m e n t ,  examine point  While  f i n d i n g w i t h r e s p e c t to the  of time that the c h i l d r e n w a i t e d  the  eventual  the age at w h i c h the c h i l d b e c a m e l e g a l l y free. T h i s  there was no significant  As  length  of  an a v e r a g e w a i t of up  to 25 m o n t h s is c l e a r l y far too long for c h i l d r e n w h o  have  lived for o n l y 87 m o n t h s . T o frame the w a i t in m o n t h s  is  i m p o r t a n t , for c h i l d r e n o n l y h a v e 228 m o n t h s of c h i l d h o o d  in  B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . W h e n , on a v e r a g e , it h a s t a k e n u p to 69 of t h o s e m o n t h s b e f o r e the child is l e g a l l y free, d u r i n g  which  s/he m a y h a v e b e e n subjected to v e r y low levels of care, u r g e n c y of e a r l y p l a c e m e n t b e c o m e s  apparent.  the  134 T h e age at w h i c h the child b e c o m e s  legally free  a d d i t i o n a l i m p o r t a n c e w h e n one c o n s i d e r s the r a n g e e x p e r i e n c e s that the c h i l d r e n m a y h a v e h a d d u r i n g period. Taking both developmental  assumes  of that  and s o c i a l f a c t o r s  into  c o n s i d e r a t i o n m a y a c c o u n t , in p a r t , for the d i f f i c u l t y o l d e r child h a s in f o r m i n g n e w  the  attachments.  The e v i d e n c e s u g g e s t s that t h r e e s o m e w h a t d i f f e r e n t e x p e r i e n c e s c a n e a c h p r o d u c e the a f f e c t i o n l e s s and d e l i n q u e n t c h a r a c t e r : a) lack of any o p p o r t u n i t y for f o r m i n g an a t t a c h m e n t to a m o t h e r - f i g u r e d u r i n g the first three years, b ) d e p r i v a t i o n for a limited p e r i o d - at least three m o n t h s and p r o b a b l y m o r e than six - d u r i n g the first t h r e e or four y e a r s , c) c h a n g e s from one m o t h e r f i g u r e to a n o t h e r d u r i n g the same p e r i o d . (Bowlby, 1951, p . 5 1 )  G i v e n the v e r y w i d e r a n g e of s t u d i e s c o n f i r m i n g i m p o r t a n c e of the age of the child to a d o p t i o n  outcome,  t h e r e are no r e a s o n a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n s account  for the s i g n i f i c a n t  i m p o r t a n t and s i g n i f i c a n t  the  which  f i n d i n g of this s t u d y : age is an  factor.  W h i l e the age of  the  c h i l d is an i m p o r t a n t d e t a i l to know, it is r e a l l y o n l y a s y m b o l for the i s s u e s that age r e p r e s e n t s . W i t h  increasing  age c o m e s i n c r e a s i n g m e m o r y . U n l i k e the c h i l d p l a c e d as a n e w b o r n infant, the s p e c i a l n e e d s child p l a c e d at 56 m o n t h s comes complete with a history which might include  a  h o r r e n d o u s c h r o n i c l e of a b u s e and n e g l e c t . T h e c h i l d also come w i t h an intact r e c o l l e c t i o n of a f a m i l y ,  may  which  a l t h o u g h not ideal, m a y represent a fantasy hard to live up  135 to for the new adoptive parents. The older child may also have extended family who have been and may remain important anchors in his/her life. Implications for policy and practice Writers and practitioners such as Cohen (1987) and Archer (1988) have pointed to the necessity of capturing the child's history in a manner which renders it accessible to him or her and which puts the history in a context which serves to explain subsequent life events. Working with the special needs child to prepare for adoption placement requires that the social worker take the time to understand the sequence of events which led to the granting of a permanent order. The child may have no active memory of the precipitating events and may only dimly understand the reason s/he is now to be placed with a new family. The child at 56 months may also have a developing sense of being different in a society which treasures the intact nuclear family as the ideal. A child without parents, cared for by an anonymous state could well feel isolated and alone. S/he might be unaware of other children in this position. Fanshel and Shinn (1978) comment on this sense by former children in care that they were alone in the world and somehow very different than other children. These former wards, now young adults, shared a feeling of distance from their peers and maintained a belief that they alone were responsible for their affairs in life.  136 Age also brings understanding. For the older special needs child, this may be the understanding that placement in an adoptive family means abandoning a known, if uncomfortable, status for a new and possibly frightening position. The adopted child who is told that he was chosen by his adoptive parents has to deal with the underlying reality that he is not a child of choice, that he was abandoned rather than chosen by his natural parents, and that his adoptive parents may have had no other choice of raising a child. (Blum, 1983, p.144) Wherever and whenever possible, the child should be involved in the placement planning process. The empowerment of the child will assist him/her to become an active participant in the adoption rather than a passive recipient of other people's good will. As practised by the Special Needs Adoption Demonstration Project (SNADP), this empowerment of the child takes the form of encouragement  to  learn his/her history, to re-visit former foster parents, to learn about early life experiences, and to address the issues related to a sense of abandonment by the birth parents.  137 Hypothesis # 5: The greater length of time that a child spends with his/her family of origin will inversely affect outcome.  This issue is clearly related to the previous hypothesis regarding age. The analysis indicated a moderate relationship between time lived with family of origin and adoption completion. Those children whose adoptions were not completed lived, on average 19 months longer with their families of origin. When membership in a sibling group is controlled, the level of significance rises. This is consistent with the finding above about the significant effect of sibling placement. There is very little discussion in the literature regarding this point. Although the age of the child receives a great deal of attention, the time spent with biological family does not. One must then speculate about the joint and confounding effects of exposure to a wide range of abuse and neglect, and attachment to a biological parent. Partridge et al. (1988) associate disruption with increased levels of trauma and need. "There is every indication that children in the disrupted group are more experienced with loss, instability and maltreatment and appear to be more emotionally disturbed and behaviourally dysfunctional than their counterparts in continuing placements." (p. 47) However, Partridge et al. did not find  138 that returns to the birth parents were significantly associated with disruption. The previous chapter indicated that the number of returns to the birth parents was not significant. This finding is consistent with that of other studies. There were no significant differences between boys and girls on the variable of returns to biological family. This finding, while consistent with the findings of other researchers, is surprising. It would seem that children who have experienced multiple returns to their family of origin, would be more prone to disrupted placements due to the twin factors of parental attachment and unsettled early years. It maybe that those factors work in favour of the child's ability to join a new family (or at least work against pre-disposing the child to subsequent disruption). The child who has been returned to the family of origin  more than once following  an apprehension has been able to witness first-hand the steady decline of the parents' ability to provide adequate care and may have experienced repeated physical and sexual assaults. For these children "family romance fantasies" as described by Wieder (1977) may simply not exist. Nickman (1985) writes of the losses of adoption: "Adoptees have a need to mourn several kinds of loss: the overt or object losses, status losses, and covert losses such as the assault on self-esteem which arises from the knowledge of not having remained with one's original parents."  139 Implications for policy and practice. Adoption "mythology" holds that the child returned frequently to parents will be difficult to place for adoption. The evidence from this study does not support such a view. Previous studies on adoption and in the field of attachment indicate that the child who has been able to form an attachment early with a significant mother-figure may be able to repeat that process with another parent. Placing the child who has been returned to parents several times is probably less complicated by the number of returns, but more likely complicated by the age at which the adoptive placement finally happens. The child who has been returned to parents on several occasions is usually older and thus, has more active memory of past events. Such children will also have experienced a range of foster home placements and alternate caregivers. Keeping in mind a range of factors including the age at which the child is free for placement, the adoption social worker ought not to feel constrained by the issue of returns to biological parents as a predictor of disruption. The adoption plan in such cases should be discussed openly with the biological parents who may feel that the age of the child and the frequent returns might mean that the child will remain in foster care and not find a permanent family.  140 Hypothesis # 6: Children placed with relatives or with longterm foster parents will not experience disruption at the same rate as those placed with strangers.  The analysis indicated a very significant correlation between placement with known adoptive parents and adoption completion. This is not at all surprising and has been supported by previous studies. Alternative explanations are not supportable in this case. The children placed with their existing foster parents or relatives experienced a much lower incidence of adoption disruption. Barth and Berry's (1988) extensive review of disruption pointed strongly to the success of adoption by foster parents. "Foster parent placements may have lower disruption rates because the child and family learn if the placement will work during the foster care stage." (Barth and Berry, 1988, p. 91). An additional important factor is that the child and parents will have begun to understand each other's behaviour prior to an adoption commitment having been made. Once the plan changes to adoption, each party will need to be able to analyse the behaviour and demeanour of the other in order to accurately predict sources of tension and conflict. Implications for policy and practice Foster parent adoptions were actively discouraged until quite recently. They were seen as a 'back-door' route to adoption and were disfavoured. Due to the different  141 requirements for home-study, selection criteria, matching, and payment, it was felt that foster parents should not adopt the children in their care. While this attitude has changed during the last five years, policy and program changes need to be made to catch up with this and other research findings. Foster parents interested in adopting the children placed with them should be encouraged to do so. The home study guidelines should be reviewed for efficacy in such situations. Supports and services provided during the foster care period should be withdrawn gradually rather than at the point of adoption completion. The new adoption subsidy program may assist with some aspects of this latter point. Policy should be re-written to reflect a requirement that existing foster parents be approached to see if they are interested in adoption before referral to the central adoption registry is made. This policy needs to be circulated in the child welfare community, including members of the legal profession, so that a clear statement can be made about the desirability of placement stability for children removed from their parents' care. Wherever possible, foster parent adoption needs to be canvassed prior to the permanent order hearing. Birth parents who are aware that their child will be adopted by the foster parents may appreciate the stability offered and be willing to accept  142 their child's best interest  as the test r a t h e r t h a n  the e x c r u c i a t i n g p a i n of a p r o t r a c t e d  undergo  hearing.  H y p o t h e s i s ft 7: T h e n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s and t o t a l l e n g t h time spent in f o s t e r h o m e s or g r o u p h o m e s p r i o r to will inversely affect  placement  outcome.  The findings presented  in the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r  with  r e s p e c t to this h y p o t h e s i s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h o s e  of  o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s w i t h r e s p e c t to the t o t a l l e n g t h of spent in foster or g r o u p h o m e s .  T h e t o t a l l e n g t h of  the child s p e n d s in f o s t e r h o m e s or g r o u p h o m e s d o e s  time time not  n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t a d o p t i o n o u t c o m e . H o w e v e r , the f i n d i n g n o r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t o t a l n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s  (1986) and B a r t h and B e r r y  (1986) found that the n u m b e r  placements was significant. Differences  in s t u d y  m a y b e r e l a t e d to s a m p l e size, d i f f e r i n g a g e n c y  al.  of outcomes  practices,  d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of file d a t a , or a c o m b i n a t i o n these  that  contributing  factor to a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n . H o w e v e r , P a r t r i d g e et (1986) and F e s t i n g e r  other  (1988) found  the n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s not a s i g n i f i c a n t  of  and  d i s r u p t i o n is not c o m p l e t e l y c o n s i s t e n t w i t h that of research. Hall  of  of  factors. T h e m e a n n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s w a s found to b e h i g h e r  this than in other s t u d i e s . One could s p e c u l a t e that study, as the m o s t r e c e n t , identified that foster  this  home  in  143 placements are no longer as stable as they may once have been. Child welfare agencies across Canada and the United States are experiencing great difficulty in recruiting and retaining foster homes. The increased numbers of foster home placements for the children studied in this research may reflect this new reality in foster care. There are significant differences between the sibling and 'alone' groups when gender is examined. This finding, that the children in the 'alone' group experienced a much wider range of placements (when split by gender) than the children in the sibling group is not commented on elsewhere. Only the 'alone' girls whose adoptive placements disrupted experienced elevated numbers of foster or group home placements (n = 8). That the sibling group experienced higher numbers of placements is not surprising given the difficulty social workers report in finding foster placements for sibling groups. Further review of the ages of the 8 'alone' girls whose adoptions disrupted indicates that they were, on average, the oldest when legally free (88.2 months) and the oldest when placed for adoption (109.5 months) of the entire group. Taking these ages into consideration, the number of placements becomes explicable. These children experienced higher numbers of placements because they were in care for longer periods of time. The previous discussion about the  144 s i g n i f i c a n c e of age as a p r e d i c t o r of d i s r u p t i o n h o l d s the a n a l y s i s of t h i s s u b g r o u p of the t o t a l The h y p o t h e s i s  sample.  is not p r o v e n in this c a s e . T h e  number  of p l a c e m e n t s and the t o t a l l e n g t h of time in f o s t e r g r o u p h o m e s d o e s not affect a d o p t i o n I m p l i c a t i o n s for p o l i c y and  or  outcome.  practice  W h i l e the h y p o t h e s i s w a s not p r o v e n , the f i n d i n g the n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s  should b e c a u s e for some  about  concern.  The m e a n n u m b e r of p l a c e m e n t s e x p e r i e n c e d b y c h i l d r e n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a is h i g h e r than t h o s e of c h i l d r e n in s t u d i e s . In the H o r n b y et al  (1986) study the  placements  other  2.7  (1986) r e p o r t s a m e a n of 2.7 for  d i s r u p t e d g r o u p and 1.3 p l a c e m e n t s for the c o m p l e t e d B a r t h and B e r r y  in  disrupted  g r o u p had 3.9 p l a c e m e n t s and the c o m p l e t e d group, placements. Festinger  for  (1988) report a f i n d i n g of 2.9 f o s t e r  the  group. home  overall.  W h i l e the r e c r u i t m e n t and r e t e n t i o n p r o b l e m s are r e a l and p o s e s e r i o u s p r o b l e m s for child  very  welfare  a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , the e v i d e n c e is c l e a r that the n u m b e r s of p l a c e m e n t s are h i g h e r than in other j u r i s d i c t i o n s . it is e n c o u r a g i n g that t h e r e is not a c o r r e l a t i o n the n u m b e r s of t h e s e p l a c e m e n t s and a d o p t i o n  Although between  completion,  t h e r e is a need to c o n t i n u e to h i g h l i g h t r e s o u r c e  shortages  and the i m p a c t t h e s e have on c h i l d r e n in c a r e . A r e v i e w of the r e a s o n s for the n u m b e r s of m o v e s c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e called for. A case b y case a n a l y s i s of each m o v e  should  is  145 highlight  a r e a s w h e r e s i m i l a r i t i e s e x i s t in r e a s o n s  c h a n g e s in p l a c e m e n t s . W h e r e M i n i s t r y p o l i c y w a s  for  identified  as the p r o b l e m , d o c u m e n t a t i o n w o u l d t h e n b e a v a i l a b l e j u s t i f y c h a n g e s to r e d u c e the n u m b e r of m o v e s . W h e r e f a c t o r s are i d e n t i f i e d ,  t h e s e should be a n a l y s e d  consultation with foster parent representatives m a d e to a m e l i o r a t e the  Hypothesis  to other  in and  efforts  condition.  # 8: T h e p r e - c a r e e x p e r i e n c e s  of c h i l d r e n  will  affect adoption outcome. Those children with histories p h y s i c a l and s e x u a l a b u s e w i l l fare p o o r l y in  adoption.  T h e c h i l d r e n in the s a m p l e had a w i d e r a n g e of experiences,  pre-care  o f t e n b e i n g s u b j e c t e d to m u l t i p l e f o r m s  of  a b u s e b e f o r e e n t e r i n g p e r m a n e n t c a r e . B a r t h and B e r r y d o not a d d r e s s the p r e - c a r e e x p e r i e n c e q u e s t i o n P a r t r i d g e et al and/or n e g l e c t  (1986) c o n s i d e r  of a d o p t i o n d i s r u p t i o n  (1988)  directly.  "prior i n c i d e n c e of  [to b e ] c o n s i s t e n t l y  of  abuse  a strong p r e d i c t o r  (p.44). F e s t i n g e r  (1986) d o e s  "  not  d i r e c t l y a d d r e s s the issue b u t states that "the r e a s o n s p l a c e m e n t w e r e q u i t e similar for c h i l d r e n w h o s e  for  adoptive  p l a c e m e n t s e v e n t u a l l y d i s r u p t e d and for t h o s e w h o w e r e adopted"  (p.21-22).  Nelson  (1985) r e p o r t s that  unaffected by  "parents' s a t i s f a c t i o n  ... the r e a s o n for s e v e r i n g the  parents' rights"  (p.72). H a l l  is  biological  (198) found that "there is no  146 significant difference between successful and disrupted adoptive children with regard to the reason for their coming into care" (p.75). None of these reports indicate whether the variable controlled for either sibling status or gender. The results in the previous chapter indicate that in some instances there is a clear relationship between the reason the child entered care and subsequent adoption disruption. There are certainly many factors to consider in this regard, but certain groups of issues appear to stand out in the analysis. (A) Abandoned There were no disruptions among the members of sibling groups of children who had been abandoned. Kadushin and Martin (1988) refer to abandonment as "the ultimate neglect —  feelings of frustration; indifference, inattentiveness,  and lack of concern and awareness of the child's condition and basic needs are associated with neglect" (p.230). When one examines this description while keeping in mind the earlier discussion about the effect of siblings on adoption outcome, the deductive conclusion must be that siblings are able to meet each other's needs in ways which their biological parents cannot. Once placed in the adoptive home, this pattern of collective support continues and provides the children with the foundation they require to successfully adapt to a new family.  147  (B) Physically abused Children who entered care as a result of being physically abused generally fared better in adoption than children who were not physically abused. This held particularly for boys and members of sibling groups. Kadushin and Martin (1988) define physical abuse as "excessive and inappropriate and hence unacceptable violence toward children —  some definitions of abuse stress the  fact that the behaviour is deliberate with intent to harm the child. Other definitions give [more] consideration to the danger to the child, whether it is intentional or not." (p.229) In contrast to Partridge et al. (1986), this study found in certain cases, prior physical abuse was not predictive of adoption disruption. This may be due to a combination of factors including the element which Kadushin and Tizard call "resilience". A sense of mutual support and strength in the face of obviously poor care may explain the lower disruption rate for siblings who have been abused. More generally, children who have been physically abused to the point that they are apprehended may have had ample opportunity to accept that their biological parents cannot care for them. These children have physical scars to remind them of their parents' inability to protect them from harm. They may be inclined to enter a new family with optimism that they will be well-cared for.  148  The boys were not over-represented in the physical abuse category. However, they fared better in adoption than girls who had been physically abused. There is not enough information available to determine the extent of the injuries suffered or the time period over which they were endured. These factors may have influenced the finding. Further research is needed to clarify this point and to examine the effect of gender on physical abuse. (C) Sexually abused There was no tendency toward significance on this variable overall, or for membership in a sibling group. The latter may be understood by recalling that sexual abuse is most often a private matter which all members of the family may not be privy to. However, for boys there was a tendency toward a significant correlation between adoption completion and sexual abuse. This may be due to more "passive acceptance by the daughter [which] reflects the effects of prior developmental history ... the profile of the child who does become involved in incest suggests a child who is more compliant, more passive, and less confident in her capacity to reject the parent." (Kadushin & Martin, 1988, p.301) One would expect that more girls than boys were sexual abuse victims and this was the case in this study. It should be noted however, that some of the sample children entered care prior to 1982 when sexual abuse awareness was not as discerning as it is today. As a result, there may have been  149  a much higher incidence of sexual abuse among the children which was not identified at the time they entered care. (D) Emotional abuse The National Clearing House on Child Neglect and Abuse defines emotional neglect ... as failure to provide the child the emotional nurturing or emotional support necessary for the development of a sound personality, as for example subjecting the child to rejection or to a home climate charged with tension, hostility and anxiety producing occurrences which result in perceivable problems in children. (Kadushin & Martin, 1988, p.235) Emotional abuse as a reason for entering care was noted for only 15 of the sample children. Of these, 9 were boys and 6 were girls. Although the numbers were small, there appears to be a tendency for boys who were emotionally abused to experience fewer disruptions than girls. While boys may be more frequent targets of abuse in the early years, the question of the effect of emotional abuse on adoption completion may have more to do with early role stereotyping than gender alone. The child who is both emotionally abused and expected to be a 'brave little soldier' may develop a self-protective shell which encourages reaching out to form new bonds when the old ones are irreparably harmed by emotional cruelty. Partridge et al. (1986) identify emotional abuse as predictive of disruption. They do not list their selection criteria, and it may be that this study would have replicated those findings with a similar definition. For the  150  purposes of this study, emotional abuse was noted only if the file made specific reference to it. (E) Parental alcohol abuse There was a significant finding overall with regard to parental alcohol abuse and adoption completion. This was also the case for girls but was not repeated for siblings, children placed alone, or boys. Once again, inadequate file detail does not permit an analysis of the range of behaviours which parental alcohol abuse covers. Only field observation would provide the wealth of data necessary to confirm this finding with conviction. Knowing the boundary confusion which often arises in neglectful, alcohol abusing families, one immediately thinks that sexual abuse may be a factor in this finding. However, this contrasts with the earlier observation that sexual abuse is not significantly associated with either disruption or completion for girls. Role modelling may again play a part in this issue. Many children who grow up exposed to parental alcohol abuse commit themselves to an abstemious lifestyle, due to the abhorrence they hold for alcohol. That same drive, coupled with a societal requirement that girls be well-behaved, compliant, and uncomplaining may foster a desire for permanence with a new family. This area requires a great deal more research in order to confirm this finding and/or provide alternative explanations.  151  (F) Relinquished There was a tendency overall for children who were relinquished to fare more poorly in adoption than children who were not relinquished. However, the numbers were very small (n = 5) and conclusions cannot be drawn on the basis of the chi-square analysis alone. It is interesting to note that all 5 of the children were boys and all 5 of their adoptions disrupted. Unresolved feelings of loss may account for this phenomenon. It is also likely associated with an array of behaviours developed to mask the pain of loss. (G) Chronic neglect There was a significant finding overall that chronic neglect was associated positively with adoption completion. The finding was not repeated when controlling for membership in a sibling group or by gender. Partridge et al. (1986) made a similar finding. Deprivation of necessities and inadequate supervision are the two most frequent forms of neglect. When deprived of necessities, the child is not adequately fed or provided with adequate and appropriate clothing. The child's living conditions are dilapidated with inadequate heating, insufficient protection from possibility of injury and lack of proper bed or bedding ... the neglectful parent fails to adequately meet her own needs even as she fails to meet the basic needs of her children ... the neglectful parent may be rejecting the parental role. (Kadushin & Martin, 1988, p.230-231) The child reared under neglectful conditions is able to see first hand the inadequacy of his/her parent. When  152  removed from such circumstances and provided with adequate food, shelter and clothing, the child may be ready to make new commitments which signal an end to neglect. This situation is somewhat akin to the circumstance where the child is relinquished. In that case, the parent makes a conscious decision to cease caring for the child. In the case of neglect, the parent demonstrates to the child his/her inability to parent and abdicates the role. For the child, the effect may be the same as relinquishment. This is the very point that Kadushin (1967) sought to make in his study of children adopted when older. These children . . . made two important shifts in moving from their own home to the adoptive home. . . . . from a home that offered little in the way of meeting their needs in terms of affection, acceptance, support, understanding, and/or encouragement to the adoptive home, which offered some measure of these essential psychic supplies. They also made a change from a lower-class, multiproblem, generally disreputable family living in a slum-ridden area of the community to a middleclass, reputable home in an area of the community that had some status. (Kadushin, 1967, p.29) (H) Other reasons for entering care As noted in the previous chapter, there were a number of reasons that fell into this category. Predominantly they are characterized by parental lack of interest in continuing to care for the children. As with chronic neglect, the children can be expected to have understood their parents' inability to provide care as a form of abandonment and sought security in a new, permanent family. Of all the  153  reasons for children entering care and the associated analyses, this factor produced the highest significance levels. This was true for the sample overall, for girls and for children in the 'alone' group. There was no significant finding for boys or for children who were members of a sibling group. This set of reasons for entering care reflects some very unique circumstances. The children appear to have held secondary positions in the family, subservient to the unmet needs of their parents. Kadushin's picture of the neglected child above describes even more closely the children in this group. The highly significant finding for children in the 'alone' group tends to reinforce these children as searching for the security and stability their own families were unable to provide. Although they experienced the events of their childhood on their own, there is a quality of personal rejection among this set of reasons which is so final that the children must believe that they are free to create new ties to an adoptive family. Children will be more likely to succeed in adoptive families if they have permission from their biological parents to experience their losses, express feelings of fear and anger and develop the capacity to form new bonds with an adoptive family. Conversely, children who cannot live with their biological families but remain bound to the pressures and conflicts they experienced . . . are likely to go through a series of placements and will be less likely to succeed in an adoptive family. (Kagan, 1986, p.71)  154  The hypothesis cannot be stated to be proven or disproven. There are a number of pre-care experiences which affect adoption completion. The inter-play between and among these factors requires closer examination. The study is limited in its ability to accurately assess individual cases on the basis of file information. Additional information about social and behavioural functioning of the sample would augment the data and might assist in identifying personal attributes of the sample children which have assisted them to overcome their pre-care experiences. As this is a limited study in the sense that the dependent variable - adoption completion - by definition narrows the scope to a short time period, it is possible that some of the completed adoptions will still end in dissolution. The long-term effects of some of the pre-care experiences of the children are difficult to measure as there is little long-term follow-up of adopted children. For example, fetal alcohol syndrome remains a poorly understood disability, the effects of which are lifelong. In many cases, behavioural and learning disabilities do not become apparent until adolescence and are very difficult to accurately diagnose. The detection of sexual abuse of children now represents 22% of the provincial child protection caseload (British Columbia, 1990). However, the long-term effectiveness of the treatment of sexually abused children is still unknown. As these children approach  155  latency, emotional and behavioural problems may arise which will threaten the security of the adoption placement. An additional consideration about this finding is that there may be additional information about specific behaviours and emotional disabilities which was not collected due to the difficulties identified in describing the full range of behavioural difficulties in file recording. Implications for policy and practice The testing of this hypothesis has resulted in an analysis that tends to break down another of the great adoption myths - that the pre-care experiences of some children mark them as being unadoptable. As indicated above, there are no experiences that can conclusively result in adoption disruption. To the contrary, it could be said that a sibling group with a background of abandonment may forge new bonds with a family more easily than children who are sexually abused. One factor is not more important than any other, it is the combination of pre-care experiences along with the child's age, sibling status and unique qualities which determine adoption completion or disruption. As noted above, this research has focussed exclusively on child related variables. Further research is necessary to examine the process by which adoptive parents and waiting children are matched. When parents and child are adequately prepared for the adoptive placement do adoptions disrupt less frequently ?  156  Adoption mythology about the adoptability of children rests, assuredly, on experience in recruiting families for children. Fear and lack of knowledge on the part of prospective adoptive parents about the difficulties of adopting sibling groups or children with histories of abuse and neglect are certainly areas which need to be addressed. Demonstrating to practitioners and adoptive parents that older child adoption is not inherently perilous, and providing post-placement support to families are two tangible services that can be provided to strengthen the viability of special needs adoption. Dissemination of this and other related research findings will help to reduce dependence on adoption mythology as a basis for permanency planning. There is also a need to educate therapists about adoption so that they will be able to incorporate theories about attachment, adoption and pre-care experience into their therapy sessions with children. The information base about children in the care of the Superintendent needs to be expanded so as to afford the opportunity to track individual cases from entry to care through to adoption placement. Armed with this information, it would be possible to identify those combinations of factors thought to contribute to placement instability.  157  Hypothesis # 9: Children with multiple special needs will experience more disruptions.  As indicated in Table 14, this hypothesis is not proven. The nature and extent of the children's special needs did not influence adoption completion except in one case - that of boys with 'other special needs'. These special needs are most frequently emotional/behavioural difficulties. These problems were identified prior to placement. Knowing in advance that the child to be placed had behavioural difficulties, adoptive parents of boys appear to be able to manage the behaviour and proceed to finalize the adoption. This finding confirms that of Kagan and Reid (1986). This survey demonstrates an encouraging rate of success in helping severely emotionally disturbed youths to find and maintain relationships with adoptive families. These were children with long histories of multiple placements, institutionalization for treatment of learning and emotional problems, neglect, physical abuse, and behaviours that were dangerous to themselves and others. With this background a legal adoption rate of 70% is very high. (p.69) Neither this study nor that of Kagan and Reid (1986) are able to comment on the matching process as described above. It may be that there are elements of adoptive parent selection which are able to explain this particular phenomenon. In the case of the Kagan and Reid study, it would be useful to know the extent of abuse suffered by the  158  children in the sample. Recent dramatic increases in the numbers of children born drug dependent or suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome will dramatically change the picture of the very young child placed for adoption. This study did not capture information about this group of children as the time period studied pre-dated the emergence of this disturbing trend. The recognition of children with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effect is sometimes not made until the child is well into the adolescent years. Dorris (1988) has written movingly of his decade long struggle to identify the nature of his adopted child's disability. His story is not uncommon and it must be assumed that larger numbers of children will be diagnosed as having fetal alcohol syndrome in the next few years. This study has not been able to accurately capture information regarding this group of children. Research into the effect on adoption placement of fetal alcohol syndrome and parental drug abuse during pregnancy are urgently needed. Placement options for these children will be severely hampered by our lack of knowledge about the long-term effects on children and families of these preventable conditions. None of the cases where the child was discovered, after placement, to have been emotionally abused, neglected or sexually  abused prior to the adoptive placement, were  159  completed. This finding requires further follow-up. Although the numbers were very small, the sample size may not have permitted an adequate testing of this issue. It remains unclear whether it was the behaviours that sprang from this prior, undisclosed abuse, which prompted the disruption, or whether other factors were at play. Examination of subsequent adoptive placements of these children is needed to examine the long-term effect of the disclosures. Kadushin (1967) indicates that there is a therapeutic component to adoption. "Adoption is not psychotherapy but its psychotherapeutic potential is like a good marriage, a true friendship, a new and satisfying job, an enjoyable vacation. It can help to repair old hurts." (p.31) There may well be therapeutic value in adoption, but it should never be used for that purpose. Kay Donley warns about the 'middle-class child improver* - a group of adoptive parents who fare poorly in her estimation with behaviourally dysfunctional children. While these parents, frequently professionals with university training, are motivated by the best of intentions - to help a needy child, their inability to accept the very slow pace of change in the children's lives confuses and frustrates them. The interplay between adoptive parent variables and children with special needs requires further research in order to determine whether Donley's theorem about the types of parents and children who do well together is generalizable.  160  Other observations As noted in Chapter 5, there are disadvantages to secondary analysis as a research methodology. One is forced to rely on the observations and findings of others in order to conduct the research. In this case, the journey of discovery through the files provided revealing glimpses of adoption and protection practice across time and place. A purely subjective observation from reading over 85 files is that in those cases where the social worker had clearly made adoption planning an important casework goal, there were fewer difficulties with placements. In addition, in those cases, the file information was readily available and showed consistency. This was not the case for every file. One child's worker indicated that the child was gregarious, energetic and involved in a number of community activities. The worker recommended seeking a home in an urban setting where the child would be able to continue her activities. By the time the child was placed for adoption, she had had a change of social worker. She was placed for adoption with a family who lived in a very remote part of the Province. Her adoption was not completed. Cases originating from specialized adoption units reflected the greater concentration and expertise available in such units. These cases were characterized by frequent references to case planning activities and goal-setting. It will remain for a future researcher to determine if these  161  cases disrupt less frequently than others. There appeared to be no significant difference between cases originating in rural or urban areas. Areas for further research There are a number of areas for further research which logically follow from this project. Foremost among these would be a project to track this same sample of children. Did the children whose adoptions were completed remain with their adoptive families after placement ? Were the children in the disrupted group subsequently placed for adoption, and were those adoptions completed ? The significance of the presence or absence of siblings was demonstrated for the children studied, however the circumstances of the absent siblings were not. A follow-up review of children separated from their siblings is called for. Adoptive parent variables including a qualitative review of the home study material would yield a wealth of information about special needs adoption. Allowing that the face of adoption has changed, research needs to examine whether the change is only skin deep for adoptive parents. Do they agree to adopt special needs children due to the lack of healthy infants or is their motivation based on a desire to offer a child a home ? Beyond the simple demographic characteristics of the adoptive parents, are there features which mitigate for or against successful special needs adoption ?  The role of the adoption social worker requires review. As the author of the assessment which will ultimately convince another social worker to place a child, the adopting parents' social worker holds great power. Is this authority always exercised in the most careful manner, avoiding bias ? The role of planning for children has received a great deal of attention in the literature in the last two decades. Is this information incorporated into the daily practice of workers ? How do planning activities influence adoption ? Summary This research has demonstrated that there are very few children for whom adoption is not a viable option. There are no surprises contained in this study. The research confirms, on reflection, what we should implicitly understand about special needs adoption. This and other studies point to the adoptability of children-in-care. Greater emphasis must be placed on planning for the adoption of older children and preparing them for the experience. The significant finding of this study is not that age inversely affects adoption completion, but rather that age represents a history that can be neither ignored nor forgotten. The adoption files reviewed contained some very poignant and tragic histories. There were none so lamentable as those concerning siblings who were separated. There is no question that this practice is occasionally a valid means of  163  dealing with particular issues in a family. However, the Ministry needs to focus on this area in order to educate social workers about the value of sibling contact and placement. Adoption files represent a chronicle of each child's life in care. They must be complete and adequately rich in detail to answer the inevitable questions about the past which haunt us all. The development of special needs adoption demonstration projects to test some of these ideas in B.C. has been an excellent first step. It is now important to expand these concepts throughout the province. Training for social workers must include sessions on planning for children and on adoption related issues. This must occur in the universities as well as within the Ministry of Social Services and Housing. While there are risks in adoption, particularly for older children, there are not any situations which appear to dictate that children will fare poorly in adoption. This research has concentrated on only one aspect of adoption that of the children. This will assist practitioners to recognize that the children alone cannot be held responsible for the outcome of their adoptive placements. Adoption must focus on the needs of the child awaiting placement, establishing as a first order priority a thorough review of the circumstances of the child's entry to care.  164  Children of adoption bring with them to their new families a variety of issues. Some are known and visible but many are not. The discovery of the range of these issues and their effect on the child and her/his belief system is the key function of the social worker planning for adoption. Having painted a broad picture of the children placed for adoption, it is left to future researchers to examine the role of the other key participants in adoption, adoptive parents and their families, and social workers. All of these people bring with them to the adoption a particular set of values, beliefs and practices which may influence the adoption. Knowing those child factors which are thought to be critical to adoption outcome and reviewing them in light of findings about the other key participants will enlarge and brighten our understanding of the special needs adoption process.  165 FOOTNOTES  1)  See for example: Hansel and Gretel; Snow White. In more  recent times one could look to such examples as Kipling's The jungle book and even Burroughs' Tarzan. 2)  See Kadushin (1988), Tizard (1977), Whiteford (1988).  3) See for example: National Commission on children in Need of Parents (1979) Who knows ? Who cares ? Forgotten children in foster care.; Stone, Norman, Stone, Susan (1983) The prediction of successful foster placement Social Casework Vol 64 #1 January 1983; Festinger, Trudy (1983) No one ever asked us: A postscript to foster care. New York: Columbia University Press 4)  See for example: Lipman, Margaret (1984) Adoption in  Canada: Two decades in review in Sachdev, P. (1984) Adoption: Current issues and trends. Toronto: Butterworth and Co. 5)  Hepworth (1980)  Festinger does not provide a level of significance for  this finding. Her study report is confined to percentage levels of disruption. She does indicate where findings are statistically significant but additional information is not provided. 6) Levels of significance were not reported. Percentage figures were provided in this study of the adoption of developmentally disabled children.  166  7)  This analysis must be viewed with some caution as the n  was small and two of the four cells had expected frequencies of less than five. 8) This finding must be viewed with some caution as two of the cells had expected frequencies of less than 5. 9) This finding must be viewed with some caution as there was one cell with an expected value less than 5.  167  REFERENCES Adoption Act, Revised Statutes of British Columbia, Chapter 4 (1979). An Act respecting the Adoption of Children, Revised Statutes of British Columbia, Chapter 6 (1924). An Act respecting the Adoption of Children, Revised Statutes of British Columbia, Chapter 6 (1924). Archer, J. (1989, May). A description of the special needs adoption demonstration project. Paper presented at Ministry of Social Services and Housing Adoption Conference. Vancouver, B.C. Barth, R., Berry M. (1988). Adoption and disruption: Rates, risks, and responses. Hawthorne, New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Bailey, K. D. (1978). The Free Press.  Methods of social research. New York:  Bass, C. (1975). Matchmaker - matchmaker: Older child adoption failures. Child Welfare LIV:71 502-512 Benet,K. (1976). The politics of adoption. New York: The Free Press. Blum, H. P. (1983). Adoptive parents: Generative conflict and generational continuity. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Vol. 38 141 - 163. Bostwick, G. J. Jr., Kyte, N. S. (1985). Validity and reliability. In R. M. Grinnell (ed.). Social work research and evaluation, (pp. 161 - 184). Itasca, Illinois: F. E. Peacock Publishers. Bowlby, J. (1953). Child care and the growth of love. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books Ltd. British Columbia. (1975). Fifth report of the royal commission on family and children's law. Part VII Adoption. Victoria: Queen's Printer. British Columbia. (1990) Ministry of Social Services and Housing. Services for people. Annual report 1988-89. Victoria: Queen's Printer.  168  Churchill, S., Carlson, B., Nybell, L. (eds) (1979). No child is unadoptable. Beverly Hills: Sage Human Services Guides. Clarke, H. (1957). Social legislation (2nd ed.). New York: Appleton, Century, Crofts Inc. Cohen J. (1981). Adoption breakdown with older children. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work. Cohen J., Adoption breakdown with older children, in Sachdev, Paul (1983) Adoption: Current issues and trends. Toronto: Butterworth and Co. Cohen J., Westhues A. (1987). How to reduce the risk: Healthy functioning families for adoptive and foster children. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Coyne, A., Brown, M. (1985). Developmentally disabled children can be adopted. Child Welfare LXIV, 6 November December 1985 607-615 Csapo, M. (1989). Children in distress: A Canadian perspective. Vancouver:Centre for Human Development and Research. Donley, K. (1989, May). Preparing children for adoption. Paper presented at Ministry of Social Services and Housing Adoption Conference, Vancouver, B.C. Dorris, M. (1989). The broken cord. New York: Harper and Row. Fanshel, D., Shinn, E. B. (1978). Children in foster care: A longitudinal investigation. New York: Columbia University Press. Festinger, T. (1983). No one ever asked us: A postscript to foster care. New York: Columbia University Press. Festinger, T. (1986). Necessary risk: A study of adoptions and disrupted adoptive placements. Washington. D.C.: Child Welfare League of America. Gochros, H. L. (1985). Research interviewing. In R. M. Grinnell (ed.). Social work research and evaluation. (pp. 306 - 342}. Itasca, Illinois: F.E.Peacock Publishers. Goody, J. (1969). Adoption in cross cultural perspective. Comparative Studies in Society and History. Vol.11 55 - 78.  169  Grinnell, R. M. Jr. (1985). Social work research and evaluation. Itasca, Illinois: F.E.Peacock Publishers. Grotevant, H., McRoy, R., Jenkins, V. Emotionally disturbed. adopted adolescents: Early patterns of family adaptation. Family Process, Vol 27 Dec.1988 439-457^ Hall, J. (1981). A comparative analysis of successful and disrupted adoptions in a private child welfare agency. (Doctoral dissertation. St. Louis University 1981). Dissertation Abstracts International, 43, 5489. (University Microfilms No. 8207404). Hepworth, H. P. (1980). Foster care and adoption in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Council on Social Development. Hoggett, B. M., Pearl, D. S. (1983). The family, law and society, cases and materials. Toronto: Butterworth and Co. Hornby, H. (1986). Why adoptions disrupt . . . and what agencies can do to prevent it. Children Today, July-August Kadushin, A. (1967). Reversibility of trauma: A follow-up study of children adopted when older. Social Work Vol. 12 No. 4 22 - 33. Kadushin A., (1970). Adopting older children. New York: Columbia University Press. Kadushin, A., Martin, J.(1988). Child welfare services. (4th ed.). New York: MacMillan Publishing Company Kagan R. M., Reid, W. J. (1986). Critical factors in the adoption of emotionally disturbed youths. Child Welfare XV 1, January February 1986 63 - 73. Katz,L. (1986). Parental stress and factors for success in older child adoption. Child Welfare Vol LXV #6 Nov - n P r 1986 569 - 578. Kennedy G.D. (1955). The legal effects of adoption. The Canadian Bar Review, Aug. - Sept. 1955, Vol. XXXIII No. 7. Kroll, Michael (1990, Feb./Mar.). Outfront: Pro-life parents. Mother Jones Magazine, pp. 13 - 16. Lipman M. (1984). Adoption in Canada: Two decades in review. In Sachdev, P. (ed.). Adoption: Current issues and trends. (pp. 31 - 42). Toronto: Butterworth and Co. MacDonald, J. A. (1984). Canadian adoption legislation: An  170  overview. In Sachdev, P. (ed.). Adoption: Current issues and trends. (pp. 43 - 61). Toronto: Butterworth and Co. Nelson, K. (1985). On the frontier of adoption. Washington. D.C.: Child Welfare League of America. Nickman, S. L. (1985). Losses in adoption: The need for dialogue. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Vol. 40. 365 - 398. Norusis, M. J. (1988). SPSS/PC+ V2.0 base manual. Chicago: SPSS Inc. Partridge, S., Hornby, H., McDonald, T. (1986). Legacies of loss: Visions of gain - An inside look at adoption Disruption. Portland: University of Southern Maine Center for Research and Advanced Study Proch, K. (1982). Differences between foster care and adoption: Perceptions of adopted foster children and adoptive foster parents. Child Welfare Vol. LXI No. 5 259 - 268. Sachdev, P. (ed.) (1984). Adoption: Current issues and trends. Toronto: Butterworth and Co. Tizard, B. (1977). Adoption: A second chance. London. England: Open Books Publishing Ltd. Tizard, B. (1979). Adopting older children from institutions. Child Abuse and Neglect, Vol. 3 No. 2 535 - 538 Waiting Children. (Summer 1990). Adoptalk. p.19 Weinbach, R. W. (1985). The agency and professional contexts of Research. In R. M. Grinnell (ed.). Social work research and evaluation, (pp 66 - 82). Itasca, Illinois: F.E. Peacock Publishers. Whiteford, H. (1988). Special needs adoption: Perspectives on policy and practice. Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia.  171 Wie  £ ? F ' H - (1977). The family romance fantasies of adopted children. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. Vol 46. 185 - 199.  Zwimpfer, D. (1978). Early indicators of adoption breakdown. Unpublished master's thesis Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. Zwimpfer, D. (1983). Indicators of adoption breakdown. Social Casework 64,~3 169 - 177  172  APPENDIX A File Review Schedule Case Identification  [  Age when legally free  [ ] Months  Age at adoption placement If more than one placement, complete one review schedule each, using same case ID 3)  Age at adoption completion N/A  4)  Age at adoption disruption N/A  5)  Gender of child  J  1 - Male  [  ]  Months  [ ] Months [999] [ ] Months [999] [ ]  2 - Female Placement History 6)  Biological Family N/A  7)  Returns to biological family N/A  8)  Foster home/group home  9)  N/A Number of foster/group home placements N/A  10) Residential care/treatment N/A  [ ] Months [999]  #  [99] [ ] Months [999]  [_J  #  [99] [ ] Months [999]  173 11) Number of residential care/treatment placements N/A  ] # [999]  12) Previous adoptive home  [ ] Months [999]  N/A 13) Number of previous adoptive placements N/A 14) Placement with relatives N/A 15) Number of relative placements N/A 16) Hospital or institution N/A 17) Number of hospital/institution  [  [  #  ]  [99] [ ] Months [999] [  #  ]  [99] [ ] Months [999] [  placements  ] #  N/A  [99]  N/A  [ ] Months [999]  18) Other placement 19) Number of other placements N/A  [  #  ]  [99]  20) Specify other placement 21) Months missing birth to adoption placement N/A  [ ] Months [999]  174 Nature of Special Need As described at time of 1st placement Yes No Unknown N/A Missing  1 2 3 4 9  22  Older than 2 years  [  23  Mentally handicapped  [  24  Member of sibling group  [  25  26 27  If yes, total number of siblings available for adoption at same time N/A Non-caucasian  [_ [99 [  If yes, specify ethnic origin (both parents if applicable)  28  Uncertain prognosis  [  29  Neonatal addiction syndrome  [  30  Fetal alcohol syndrome  [  31  Drug dependent at birth  [_  32  Specific medical problem  33  If yes, specify medical problem.  34  Multiply handicapped  [_]  35  Other special need  [_]  36  If yes, specify nature of other special need.  175 Reason for entering care  1  Yes No Unknown N/A Missing 37  Abandoned  38  Physically abused  39  Sexually abused  40  Emotionally abused  41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49  50  51  2 3 4 9  (If specifically mentioned in file] Parental alcohol abuse Parental drug abuse Relinquished by biological parent Parent deceased Chronic neglect Parent mentally ill Parent mentally handicapped Other reason for entering care Specify other reason Number of times in care prior to permanent committal (or adoption consent)  [_J  #  [99] [_]  Number of siblings  #  N/A 52) Age/gender of siblings  Gender  [99] Age  176 Child's functioning as listed 1 - Average 2 - Mild to moderate disability 3 - Severely handicapped 53) Physical functioning  [ ]  54) Intellectual functioning  [ ]  55) Behavioural functioning  [_]  56) Child continued to have contact with biological family after permanent committal/adoption consent. 1 - Never 2 - Occasionally (birthdays/ holidays) 3 - At regular intervals less than twice/month 4 - Frequently more than 3 visits/month 5 - N/A 9 - Missing  [_]  Post-placement variables 1)  Length of time between study and placement N/A  [ ] Months [999]  2)  Type of child placed was as requested 1 - Yes 2 - No 3 - Unknown 4 - N/A 9 - Missing  3)  Comments regarding difference from file  4)  Child requires treatment services (known prior to placement) Code as above  [_]  5)  Treatment services are available locally Code as above  [_]  6)  Child is of same ethnic background as  [_]  parents Code as above 7)  If different, specify child's background and adoptive parents'.  8)  Child is medically different than described Code as above for all remaining questions  9)  Child is emotionally different than described  10) Child is behaviourally different than described 11) Information was on file but not given to adoptive parents 12) New information surfaces after placement of child 13)  Child was sexually abused  14)  Child was physically abused  15)  Child was neglected  16) Child has siblings elsewhere 17) Siblings placed together in this home 18) Siblings placed together elsewhere 19) Siblings placed apart 20) Regular contact with siblings maintained (if not placed in this home) 21) Adoption completed 22) Adoption probation extended 23) If Adoption probation extended, what were reasons ?  

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