ERIC Number: ED291479
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Critical Phases among Adoptees and Their Families: Implication for Therapy.
LeVine, Elaine S.; Sallee, Alvin L.
Research indicates that families that adopt have many problems that would have existed even if the adopted child had been a biological member of the family, but that become more complex and intense due to adoption. A psychosocial and psychodynamic perspective toward family life suggests that in the adoption process, child and family pass through predictable phases that coincide with family and individual development. These phases are: (1) pre-awareness of the adoptive status; (2) dim awareness of a special state; (3) cognitive integration of biological and social differences; (4) personal and identity crisis of the adopted adolescent; and (5) concomitant acceptance of the biological and adoptive family. Compared to younger adoptees, those who are older pass through a similar set of phases, but move through the first two more rapidly because of their broader intellectual capacities, and through the last two more slowly because of their greater difficulty in bonding. Identification of these phases helps focus primary and secondary preventive therapy for adoptees and families experiencing typical adjustment difficulties and also helps target families in unusual stress. The body of this paper discusses the phases in detail, and then delineates signs of serious disturbances in adjustment to adoptions. A final section provides guidelines for conducting phase-relevant therapy with this population. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A