ABSTRACT

In older child adoption, the child is thoroughly assessed as to their history and its effects, current needs, and potential for development in an adoptive family. All of these concerns are assessed in light of choosing an appropriate home for the child. Thus, the characteristics of the child are felt to influence his contribution to an adoption, but the process and extent of their influence is not clear. Our examination of child characteristics identified which qualities are most important to the outcome of the adoption. These characteristics could be more concretely and accurately assessed at pre-placement decision making as well as being addressed in postplacement services to families. Besides static characteristics of the child, we examined the development of reciprocal attachment behavior over time and its effect on adoption stability.