The Routledge Handbook of Adoption: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Adoption

1st Edition

Edited by Gretchen Wrobel, Emily Helder, Elisha Marr


520 pages

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Hardback: 9781138362505
pub: 2020-03-10
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Adoption is practiced globally yielding a multidimensional area of study that cannot be characterized by a single movement or discipline. The 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.

Table of Contents

Part I: Adoption in Context

1. Historical and Contemporary Contexts of US Adoption: An Overview.

Elisha Marr, Emily Helder, and Gretchen 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 National 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

About the Editors

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

Elisha Marr, PhD is an associate professor of sociology and director of Gender Studies at Calvin University, USA. 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.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies