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Intercountry Adoption of Children with Special Needs

Student Presentation Day 2013

Jessica Matthews

on 5 April 2013

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Transcript of Intercountry Adoption of Children with Special Needs

Intercountry Adoption of Children with Special Needs:
Sufficiency of Identification and Pre- & Post-Placement Services Jessica A.K. Matthews, Ellen E. Pinderhughes, Adam Pertman, Georgia Deoudes The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (1993)
Designed to safeguard the parties of intercountry adoption (ICA): birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents
Meant to ensure mutual respect of adoption laws
Hague-member countries first sign, then ratified the Convention; and then it is entered into force
Timing of this varies country by country Donaldson Adoption Institute Private NGO that focuses on adoption research and dissemination
Survey of International Adoptive Parents and of International Adoption Professionals
Looks at the impact of the Hague Convention
Can nominally assess Hague implementation and fidelity Special Needs Adoption Special needs adoption has become more popular recently
Special tracts for people adopting SN children
Some countries have closed all ICA with the exception of SN children
Special needs classification in Countries of Origin (COOs) varies widely
Special Needs in Our Study To date: 1020 Parents have completed the entire survey (87% completion rate)
Parents reside in 19 countries, 92% in U.S.
Parents have adopted from 45 countries
Top COOs are: China, Ethiopia, Russia, Guatemala, Colombia Special Needs Our Groups 47% (486 of 1,020 total cases) of Adoptive Parents adopted a child with special needs
Initial Diagnosis - 24% (243) of parents adopted a child identified in birth country as having special needs
Additional Diagnosis - 42% (101) of these children had an additional special need diagnosed after adoption [10% of total sample]
Late Discovery - 24% (243) of parents discovered after their adoption that their child had special needs not recognized in birth country
71% of parents of special needs children discovered their child had an additional special need after adoption Physical or medical special needs: these include medical conditions like children HIV+ or Hep B+; cleft palate, blindness, club foot, hydrocephaly, FAE/FAS
Growth delay: these include growth issues like small head circumference, malnutrition, short stature
Developmental delay: these include learning disabilities or delay in meeting other developmental milestones: speech, etc.
Mental or emotional special needs: these include attachment disorders, ADHD 64% of children diagnosed in their birth countries had a physical or medical need
Only 31% of parents adopting within this group required additional post-placement services (PPS)
32% of families requiring PPS had all services provided by their adoption agencies; 45% of these families were required to seek out services themselves
Initial Diagnosis Special Needs 69% of children diagnosed with special needs after adoption were diagnosed with mental or emotional difficulties; 52% were diagnosed with a developmental delay
60% of these families required additional PPS
12% of families requiring PPS had all services provided by their adoption agencies; 60% of families were required to seek out services themselves
Late Discovery Special Needs 42% of children diagnosed with Special Needs by their birth countries had additional special needs diagnosed after adoption
53% of these children were diagnosed with an additional mental or emotional need, and 50% were diagnosed with a developmental delay
36% of these parents said the additional needs were immediately apparent to them, while 64% said these additional needs became clear during the course of development
59% of these families required additional PPS
Only 12% of these families’ PPS were provided as part of their adoption, while 56% had to seek out these services themselves Additional Diagnosis Special Needs
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