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Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption
Bridging the Gap Between Adoptees Placed As Infants and As Older Children

Edited By Victor Groza, Karen F. Rosenberg

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Reviewer: Allison Martin

Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption, by Victor Groza and Karen Rosenberg, presents seven professional papers on the theory and practice of infant-placed and older adoptions. Procedures and experiences of adoption vary dramatically between children placed at infancy and older children -- this book brings these similarities and differences to our attention, so that we can begin to learn from each experience. The authors have succeeded in providing an well-documented presentation for integration of theory, practice, policy, and research between adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive families.

While this book is written for professionals and researchers in the adoption; those with a deep interest in the underpinnings of the adoption process from the professional point of view will find it rewarding. Important issues and concepts for all stages of the adoption are addressed, some of which adoptive parents may not yet be consciously aware, although they very well may influence their family. Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption provides a solid review of the historical and societal context, ethics, and practice of adoption of infants and older children.

Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption is well organized and quite readable, at the level of a college text. The chapter summaries and the introductory and concluding chapters pull together the diverse views and themes. Definitive citations and biographies of the authors underscore the credentials and professional experience of the contributors and editors.

The first chapter of Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption leads off with a thoughtful overview of the adoption process (practice, theory and statistics) and recommendations. This introduction provides a excellent framework for the chapters which follow and is in itself a good overview of adoption trends practiced today. Chapters two through four address underlying emotions of loss for adoptive parents, birth parents and adopted children. (For an adoptive parent, parts of these chapters can be difficult to read, because this is an academic discussion of what are at heart emotional and personal issues. However, it is well worth a close reading because while the concepts presented in this section are often overlooked in the mechanics of adopting, they will likely play a role in the influences on your family.) Chapter 2 addresses the influence of infertility on adoption and families. Chapter 3 examines identity issues for adoptees, primarily those related to loss. Chapter 4 addresses search and reunion issues for children adopted at various ages and circumstances. In the next section of the book, chapters 5 and 6 address adoption through a overview of the historical practice, support and ethics. These chapters provide a fascinating look at the forces influencing adoption today. Chapter 5 addresses the history, elements and ongoing need for adoption support. Chapter 6 discusses ethics in American adoption, raising some important questions about inconsistencies in adoption practice. The concluding chapter, chapter 7, pulls the book together with a discussion of treatment issues in adoption for all those involved in an adoption and presents a model for adoption practice and adoption support. The conclusion of Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption brings to closure the common threads of the adoption experiences. The complexities created by the different adoption experiences at different ages in placement have something to teach parents, practitioners and adoptees. Read interview with Dr. Victor Groza

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