Study sheds light on adoption trends
on 31/10/2013 00:00:00
The study included surveys of 1,500 adoptive parents and adoption professionals in sending and receiving countries, as well as interviews with senior policymakers in 19 nations including Ireland. It found that the international implementation of the Hague Convention has resulted in an increase in legal, safe, and appropriate adoptions for children for whom no permanent options exist to be raised in families.
The study found:
* More children are remaining institutionalised for longer periods, increasing the effects of institutionalisation;
* An increasing awareness and engagement in international "open adoption" - where some form of contact remains between the natural and adoptive families:
* Many countries of origin, including the largest ones such as China, are increasingly allowing the inter-country adoption primarily or exclusively of children with special needs.
Adam Pertman, the president of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, said the policies of countries involved in adoption need to reflect current rather than past trends.
"The unfortunate reality is that too many current policies and practices do not adequately address the fast-changing realities of international adoption.
"Now that we have this research, the challenge is to make improvements that truly serve children and families," he said.
The study also calls for improved medical and mental health reporting, expanded services and supports for pre-adoptive and adoptive families, and improved structures and information enabling contact with natural families.