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Services for adoptive families : an exploratory study of needs and attitudes, Vancouver, 1961 Pleas, Roy Thomas

Abstract

The suggestion is growing that adoption agencies have been severing ties with adoptive families too quickly following finalization of the adoption. Some social workers believe that the adoption agencies should offer services to adoption families after the adoption has been legally established. The purpose of this thesis is to study the attitudes of adoptive parents toward this suggestion; and to learn what kind of services they would use. For exploratory purposes, fifty adoptive families were selected from the files of the Vancouver Children's Aid Society. The adoptions had been completed between 1953 and 1957. Each child was placed as a small infant. A questionnaire was mailed to each family with an accompanying letter explaining the purpose of the study. The intent was that the adoptive family should show their desire to use post-adoption services, and indicate the specific kinds of services that they might find to be most helpful. A series of post-adoption discussions, offered by the Vancouver Children's Aid Society in cooperation with the University of British Columbia Extension Department, has been the only service available in Vancouver especially for adoptive parents. The analysis of the material obtained from the returned questionnaires indicates that the adoptive families do not desire any additional services in the community which are especially designed for adoptive families. Those families who have made use of available services uniformly report them as most adequate. The families responding indicated that adoption is a very satisfying means of obtaining a family, although also there are special challenges in the roles of adoptive parenthood. Unfortunately, the sample returns were approximately only twenty per cent of the total sample. This may indicate that most adoptive families are not experiencing problems and are therefore not conscious of the need for services. There is the possibility, however, that because the families were not prepared for participation in the study in advance they were reluctant to do so now. Indications are that further research ought to be conducted on some different basis in the area of post-adoption needs and services.

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