As used in an adoption of an OLDER CHILD especially, a scrapbook documenting a child's life to date and created for and with a child with the assistance of a social worker, psychologist, foster parent and/or other individuals. The lifebook may be one of the few possessions the child can call his own prior to his adoption.
The purpose of the lifebook is to provide meaning and continuity to a displaced child whose life may have been extremely disrupted. It is designed to capture memories and provide a chance to recall people and events in the child's past life, to allow for a sense of continuity. The lifebook can also serve as a focal point to explore painful issues with the child that need to be resolved.
Children who grow up as members of one family usually have ready access to birth certificates, baby and family pictures, and other evidences of growing up, as well as items that would be placed in a scrapbook.
Foster children often do not have tangible information about their growing up, and the lifebook can serve to help them feel important and "connected" in time. Lifebooks also may cover and explain major events and developmental milestones, such as when the child first walked, talked and so forth. (See also PREPARING A CHILD FOR ADOPTION.)
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©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.