The developmental needs of institutionalized children are well documented and we advise you to educate yourself on this topic so that you can offer wise parenting to these children and have realistic expectations, not idealistic ones. Here are some online articles you may find interesting:
How School Can Support Your Internationally Adopted Child's Needs
Tracey Jongens, 2010
Our very own Tracey Jongens describes all of the support services in New Zealand schools which are available for our children.
Inter Country Adoption and School
This article by Relationships Australia's post adoption support service describes how the early experiences of neglect or institutionalisation may affect a child's learning and behaviour at school. While designed to help teachers understand this, it is very useful for parents too.
The Power of Unmet Expectations
Jayne Schooler, 2009
This article discusses how the expectations of the adoptive parents has an impact on the adoption experience for both parents and children. Parents need to adapt their expectations to enhance the bonding and settling-in process.
Adopting an Institutionalized Child: What are the Risks?
Dana Johnson, 2007
This study relates to International adoption in that it attempts to determine the short and long-term health of children that have been institutionalized with regards to body and mind development. His conclusions touch home because everyone wants to know will my baby be healthy when I get her or not. What are my chances? Read more.
Dr. Johnson’s report addresses the following conclusions from varies research surveys:
Post Adoption Survey of Russian and Eastern European Children
Rainbow House International by Donna Clauss, M.A., L.M.S.W. & Sonia Baxter , Sept 1997
This survey, completed by 206 of the 215 families it was sent to, confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Russian children do attach to their adoptive families and had very few of the attachment resistive characteristics. 73% were delayed in development on arrival, and after an average of only 23 months in their adoptive family this had dropped to 32% delayed in development. Language was the most common on-going delay.
Foreign-born kids have relatively few behavioural problems
A new study disputes the notion that children adopted from other countries tend to be badly damaged emotionally because of the hardships they had to endure. The analysis of more than 50 years of international data found that these youngsters are only slightly more likely than non-adopted children to have behavioural problems such as aggressiveness and anxiety. And they actually seem to have fewer problems than children adopted within their own countries.
Researchers Femmie Juffer and Marinus H. Van IJzendoorn of Leiden University in the Netherlands pooled results from 137 studies on adoptions by parents living in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. In the study, adopted children in general had more behsaviour problems than non-adopted youngsters, regardless of where the adoption took place - a result that is not surprising, since both groups often suffer deprivation and come from broken families.
But with backgrounds that often include abandonment, orphanages and civil strife, foreign adoptees are sometimes thought of as difficult, disruptive children, an image that the study does not support, the researchers said.
"Before adoption, most international adoptees experience insufficient medical care, malnutrition, maternal separation, and neglect and abuse in orphanages," the researchers said. But to their surprise, they found that these children do well and are largely able to catch up with their non-adopted counterparts.
Adoptive parents around the globe are seeking their children's first families, even before these children voice an opinion on the matter. But do we know what we're doing?
Tips on Searching and Reunions
Information summarised from the Adoption Reunion Handbook.
Read this inspiring New Zealand story of adopting children inter country.
Essential reading for those adopting children from a traumatic past. Available as an ebook. Read a free chapter here.
Purchase anything through Amazon via this link and they will make a donation to ICANZ
See our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ICANZAdoption
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