Background Information

print
bookmark
comment
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 5.0 of 5 stars (1 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:



background information

Data provided to prospective adoptive parents on the child they are considering adopting and also on the child's biological family.

In the case of an infant adoption, background information generally includes such nonidentifying information as the pregnant woman or birthmother's age, a physical description, her racial and ethnic background, religion, education and medical history. Information on the birthfather is gathered by caseworkers as well, and caseworkers may also obtain data on birth grandparents.

Some workers also include information on personality or hobbies, for example, the birthmother's good sense of humor or the birthfather's musical talent.

If the adoption is an OPEN ADOPTION, then the adopting parents and birthmother (and birthfather, if possible) usually meet and may exchange extensive identifying information beyond that provided by the social worker.

Particular attention is paid to recent illnesses the pregnant woman or birthfather may have suffered, and social workers attempt to determine if there has been any drug or alcohol abuse before or during the pregnancy. Whether or not the birthmother has obtained any prenatal care is also determined.

In the case of an older child's adoption, workers will try to obtain the same information on biological parents as they do in an infant adoption as well as data on the child since birth. (Most older children have been in foster care for several years, and the information should be in their case files.)

Background information on an older child will include a medical history, previous foster and/or adoptive placements, behavioral problems, any siblings and other information that could be valuable to the child in the future or to his or her adoptive parents.

If the child has been abused and the social worker knows this, that information should be shared with adopting parents. This knowledge will help the adopting parents with their own adjustment to the child; for example, if a child shrinks from her adoptive father's hugs, it helps to know that she is fearful of men because of attacks she suffered from her biological father or her biological mother's boyfriend.

Sometimes the adopting parents will meet foster parents and discuss the child's likes and dislikes and information that could aid the parents in helping the child with the adjustment.

Studies have revealed that parents who are well informed are far less likely to disrupt an adoption, and workers should make every effort to ensure that the adopting parents feel they have as much information as caseworkers can give them.

Several organizations, including the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION, publish and distribute model background information forms.

Find more information on background information

Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):


Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Tristan (TX / 16 / M)
Tristan is a very sweet and likeable youth. He is very knowledgeable of technology and can do anything on computers. Tristan loves the outdoors. He is really good at basketball,... [more]
Parent Profiles
We are a goofy couple that loves to have fun. Our interests include traveling, movies, reading, Disney, playing with our pugs, watching jeopardy, & laughing. We have been... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: