The Routledge Handbook of Adoption  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Adoption

ISBN 9781138362505
Published February 28, 2020 by Routledge
546 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Interviews with chapter authors can be accessed as podcasts ( or as videos (

Table of Contents

Part I: Adoption in context

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

2. US adoption by the numbers

3. An economic perspective on ethics in adoption policy

4. Domestic adoption in Ethiopia

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

6. Respecting children’s relationships and identities in adoption

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

Part II: Diversity in adoption

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

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

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

11. Racial and gender preferences among potential adoptive parents

12. Adoptive families headed by LGBTQ parents.

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

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

15. Adoption in the context of natural disaster

Part III: Lived experience

16. Birth mothers’ options counseling and relinquishment experiences

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

18. Communication about adoption in families

19. Open adoption

20. How adoptive parents think about their role as parents

21. Religiosity and adoption

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

23. Maltreatment of adoptees in adoptive homes 

Part IV: Outcomes

24. Speech and language development in adopted children

25. Behavioral and emotional adjustment in adoptees

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

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

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

29. Parenting stress in adoptive families

30. Adoption instability, adoption breakdown

Part V: Adoption Competency

31. Adoption competent clinical practice

32. Training for Adoption Competency curriculum

33. Awareness of adoption at school

34. Post-adoption se

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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., 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., 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.