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Title:Adoption by Foster Parents
Author(s):Proch, Kathleen Ohman
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Abstract:Adoption by foster parents was studied by personally interviewing a randomly selected sample of adoptive foster parents and children residing in the Chicago area. The children were between the ages of seven and 13 at the time of the interview.
The typical adoptive foster child who was studied was black, without severe physical or psychological problems, and placed in infancy with older, low income black parents who had a high school education or less. The child had lived with the adoptive foster family an average of five years prior to the adoption.
The majority of the parents became foster parents because they wanted to add children to their family, not to provide temporary care to a child. They adopted primarily for one of three reasons: they wanted to adopt a child when they applied to be foster parents; they became attached to a child in their care and wanted to make the child legally theirs; or they thought that the only way they could keep a child in their care was to adopt him or her. The last group of parents did not want to adopt the child; they would have remained foster parents if they were not threatened with the child's possible removal.
Foster parents and children received little preparation for adoption. The topic most often discussed with the parents was subsidy, and that least often discussed was how the family would meet the child's needs in the future. A caseworker did not discuss adoption with the child in the majority of cases. Many parents stated they had not received sufficient information about their child. In addition, some parents were unwilling to discuss adoption with their child, and a few parents stated that their child did not know that he or she was adopted. Despite the lack of preparation, parents were satisfied with their experience with adoption and with the service they had received from the agency.
The foster parents tended to see foster care as permanent. They felt that adoption did not change their relationship with their child but that it eliminated the fear that the child might be removed from their care. Children who could not remember living in another home could not distinguish foster care from adoption. Children who remembered living with another family defined foster care as temporary and adoption as permanent.
Based on the interviews, specific recommendations were made for case planning and for adoptive assessment and preparation of foster parents and children.
Issue Date:1980
Description:196 p.
Thesis (D.S.W.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8018201
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-13
Date Deposited:1980

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