UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The social worker in adoption practice : an exploratory study of 28 adopted children who were referred privately to the Vancouver Child Guidance Clinic, 1953-55 Gibson, Wilma Mary


Ideally, the adopted child should be placed with parents and in a home that offers a reasonable guarantee for health and happiness. If this goal is not achieved, or is threatened, it is important to determine what factors in the placement procedure have been influential, or overlooked. With this theme in mind, this thesis makes an exploratory study of the cases of twenty-eight adopted children who attended the Vancouver Child Guidance Clinic in a period of two years (1953-1955). The social work foundations and principles of adoption practice are discussed in a preliminary chapter. Following this, the Child Guidance Clinic case records of twenty-eight adopted children are analysed, and the pertinent statistical material found therein is tabulated. Less tangible factors such as parental attitudes and feelings about the adopted child are dealt with descriptively. Case studies attempt an over-all picture of the adopted child's life experiences. The findings reveal (a) that in many of the cases studied, one parent had not been in favour of the spouse's plan to adopt a child, or that, one or both of the parents were disappointed in the child they received; (b) that many of the parents in the study group seemed to be over-demanding of the child; (c) that each adopted child presented a combination of behavious problems to the Clinic. The study underlines, for social workers responsible for placing adoptable children (1) the need for thorough investigation of the home and the prospective parents' attitudes about children as well as adults generally; (2) the responsibilities for helping prospective adoptive parents with their uncertainties about the whole adoption process; and (3) the need for supervision of the adoptive home during the adoption probation period.

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