Pathology And Adoptive Status

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pathology and adoptive status

The theory that there are problems in a person that are related to adoptive status, either directly or indirectly. These could include problems with identity, psychiatric problems, alcohol abuse or criminal behavior.

Some adoption writers believe adopted persons are at risk for developing certain problems. Psychologist David Kirschner has claimed that 5% to 10% of adopted children develop "adopted child syndrome," which includes such behaviors as lying, stealing, learning difficulties and occasional violent acts. However, most adoption and psychiatric experts do not accept this theory and state that data from the Search Institute and other research demonstrates that adopted persons are not necessarily at risk for developing behavioral problems.

Some adopted persons believe traditional adoption is the problem, not the answer, and are pressing for open records. Their stressing of pathology is based on "pseudoscientific psychoanalytic studies," according to G. Wayne Carp, a historian who has studied adoption closely. Other experts feel open records would cause more problems than they would solve. The debate on these issues is likely to continue for some time. (See also ADOLESCENT ADOPTED PERSONS; ADULT ADOPTED PERSONS; ALCOHOL ABUSE AND ADOPTED PERSONS; CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IN ADOPTED PERSONS; IDENTITY; OPEN RECORDS; PSYCHIATRIC PROBLEMS OF ADOPTED PERSONS.)


National Council For Adoption, "Experts Debate 'Adopted Child Syndrome' at A.C.C.," National Adoption Reports, May-June 1987.

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