Supporting Adoption Permanency

July, 2019

Brittany Gay, JaeRan Kim, Richard Lee, Tracy Vozar, & Jeffrey Waid

How well children and their families adapt to adoption depends on a few things, including social environments, biology, and time (see figure below).This document reviews information associated with adoption permanency.

  • Before adoption, Parents’ should learn about…
    • Birth parents’ medical histories

    • Children’s health and medical history (e.g., history of malnourishment, low birth weight, documented disabilities)

    • Children’s pre-adoption living conditions (e.g., whether children were in institutionalized care, such as orphanages, have a history of trauma/abuse)

    • Children’s age at adoption

    • Trans-racial and trans-cultural parenting​​

  • Is this information collected?
    • The child’s health during the adoption process is most likely to be known. Family medical and child vaccination histories are often lacking, but this varies by children’s native countries.​​

  • Adoption Supports/Services
    • Types of adoption supports

    • Information and referral

    • Education and training

    • Family support

    • Mental health and crisis intervention

    • Supports are not just needed during and immediately after the adoption process - challenges can occur throughout children’s development (e.g., during teenage years).

    • Some resources for parents are available online through sites such as MN ADOPT. Others are sometimes available through local adoption service providers and programs/clinics, but often at a cost.

    • Evidence from the MN ADOPT program, which offers services across the adoption continuum, suggests that parents tend to seek phone/email support on the following issues:

    • Child emotional-behavioral issues

    • Caregiver strain

    • School-related challenges

    • Adoption-specific resources/assistance