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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Some aspects of adoption probation : an illustrative study of a sample of wards of the Vancouver Children's Aid Society placed on a boarding basis with a view to adoption (1945-1950) De Rimanoczy, Magda Elizabeth


This study concerns itself with the pros and cons of placing children whose adoptability is questioned on a boarding or foster-home basis. Because of the growing recognition that early, continuous and warm parental relationships offer the most security for a child, it is important that children should reach their permanent homes early, and that the home be well chosen. This is of particular consequence for children those adoptability is obscure in infancy. For exploratory purposes, fourteen wards of the Vancouver Children's Aid Society were selected for study. Each child was in good health when taken into agency care at the age of a few weeks, and each was eventually adopted. The child's file, the relevant foster home files, and the adoption file were studied in every case; and the material was considered in the light of child welfare standards and principles. An attempt was made to distinguish systematically the pros and cons of the procedure and its effects on all the parties to the situation--natural parents; foster parents and/or adoptive parents; the agency and the workers and, above all, the child. The assessment indicates clearly the hazards involved when decision for adoption is delayed. The natural parents (many of whom are unmarried mothers) may react by trying to plan for the child themselves. If these plans do not materialize, the result is unnecessary moves for the child. The refusal of the parents' request for adoption may lead to difficulties later in obtaining consent to the adoption. The child's uncertain status may prejudice the development of enduring affection for him. Lack of decision about adoption makes the social workers' tasks more difficult in interpreting the child's needs to substitute parents, supervising the home, and planning consistently. What stands out as significant from the point of view of the children's development, is that finding a suitable final home can be more critical than the generally-disapproved fact of several foster-home placements. Implications for policy and practice are considered in a final chapter.

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