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The Routledge Handbook of Adoption

Edited by Gretchen Miller Wrobel, Emily Helder, Elisha Marr


Pages: 520 pages
Publisher: Routledge
Publish Date: February 17, 2020
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1138362505

Adoption is practiced globally yielding a multidimensional area of study that cannot be characterized by a single movement or discipline. This handbook provides a central source of contemporary scholarship from a variety of disciplines with an international perspective and uses a multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach to ground adoption practices and activities in scientific research. Perspectives of birth/first parents, adoptive parents, and adopted persons are brought forth through a range of disciplinary and theoretical lenses.

Beginning with background and context of adoption, including sociocultural and political contexts, the handbook then addresses the diversity of adoptive families in terms of family forms, attitudes about adoption, and characteristics of adopted children. Next, research examining the lived experience of adoption for birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted individuals is presented. A variety of outcomes for internationally and domestically adopted children and adoptive families is then discussed and the handbook concludes by addressing the development, training, and implementation of adoption competent clinical practice.

With cutting-edge research from top international scholars in a diversity of fields, The Routledge Handbook of Adoption should be considered essential reading for students, researchers, and practitioners across the fields of social work, sociology, psychology, medicine, family science, education, and demography.


Gretchen Miller Wrobel, Ph.D.

Gretchen Miller Wrobel, Ph.D., is the University Professor of Psychology at Bethel University, USA and co-investigator on the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project. Dr. Wrobel’s research interests include information seeking related to curiosity about one’s adoption and adoptive family communication. She is past editor of Adoption Quarterly.

Emily Helder, Ph.D.

Emily Helder, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Calvin University, USA. Dr. Helder is a clinical neuropsychologist whose research and training have focused on the impact of early experience on later development, language, and the experience of abuse, neglect, and early deprivation.

Elisha Marr, Ph.D.

Elisha Marr, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Gender Studies at Calvin University, USA. Dr. Marr’s research on transracial adoption includes identifying trends in adoption rates, experiences of transracial adoptees and their adoptive parents, and racial preferences of adoptive parents. More recently, Marr has expanded to exploring motivations to adopt.


Part I: Adoption in context

1. Historical and contemporary contexts of US adoption: an overview

Elisha Marr, Emily Helder, and Gretchen Miller Wrobel

2. US adoption by the numbers

Rose M. Kreider

3. An economic perspective on ethics in adoption policy

Mary Eschelbach Hansen

4. Domestic adoption in Ethiopia

Sebilu Bodja and Kristi Gleason

5. Intersection of information science and crisis pregnancy decision-making

Rachael Clemens

6. Respecting children’s relationships and identities in adoption

Elsbeth Neil and Mary Beek

7. The Early Growth and Development Study: using an adoption design to understand family influences and child development

Amy L. Whitesel, Andrew Dismukes, Dorothy White, Sally Guyer, Jody M. Ganiban, Leslie D. Leve, and Jenae M. Neiderhiser

Part II: Diversity in adoption

8. Unique challenges and strengths for families formed through international adoption

Marta Reinoso Bernuz

9. A critical adoption studies and Asian Americanist integrative perspective on the psychology of Korean adoption

Adam Y. Kim and Richard M. Lee

10. A nationally representative comparison of Black and White adoptive parents of Black adoptees

Elizabeth Raleigh and Rose M. Kreider

11. Racial and gender preferences among potential adoptive parents

Kathryn A. Sweeney

12. Adoptive families headed by LGBTQ parents.

Rachel H. Farr and Cassandra P. Vázquez

13. Post-institutionalized adopted children: effects of prolonged institutionalization and adoption at an older age

Megan M. Julian

14. Adoptees with disabilities or medically involved children: a multidisciplinary approach for preparing parents, assessing the child, and supporting successful family formation

Dana E. Johnson, Judith Eckerle, Megan Bresnahan, and Maria Kroupina

15. Adoption in the context of natural disaster

Peter Selman

Part III: Lived experience

16. Birth mothers’ options counseling and relinquishment experiences

Elissa E. Madden, Donna M. Aguiniga, and Scott Ryan

17. Transracial adoptees: the rewards and challenges of searching for their birth families

Danielle Godon-Decoteau and Patricia Ramsey

18. Communication about adoption in families

Lindsey J. Thomas and Kristina M. Scharp

19. Open adoption

Harold D. Grotevant

20. How adoptive parents think about their role as parents

Albert Y.H. Lo and Krystal K. Cashen

21. Religiosity and adoption

Emily Helder and Elisha Marr

22. Adoptive microaggressions: historical foundations, current research, and practical implications

Karin Garber

23. Maltreatment of adoptees in adoptive homes

Jessica A.K. Matthews

Part IV: Outcomes

24. Speech and language development in adopted children

Sharon L. Glennen

25. Behavioral and emotional adjustment in adoptees

Eveliina Holmgren, Hanna Raaska, Marko Elovainio, and Helena Lapenleimu

26. The neurobiological embedding of early social deprivation in children exposed to institutional rearing

Rebecca Lipschutz and Johanna Bick

27. Post-adoption short- and long-term social adaptation and competence of internationally adopted children

Tony Xing Tan, Yanhong Liu, and Cherry Smith

28. Academic performance and school adjustment of internationally adopted children in Norway.

Monica Dalen and Steinar Theie

29. Parenting stress in adoptive families

Marta Santos-Nunes, Isabel Narciso, and Salomé Vieira-Santos

30. Adoption instability, adoption breakdown

Jesús Palacios

Part V: Adoption Competency

31. Adoption competent clinical practice

Anne J. Atkinson

32. Training for Adoption Competency curriculum

Debbie Riley and Ellen Singer

33. Awareness of adoption at school

Francine Fishman

34. Post-adoption services: needs and adoption type.

Darcey H. Merritt, Rachel D. Ludeke

35. Adoption-specific curricula in higher education

Bibiana Koh, JaeRan Kim, and Ruth McRoy