Post-legal Adoptive Services

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post-legal adoptive services

Also known as postadoption services, these are services provided by an adoption agency subsequent to legal finalization of the adoption. The adopted person, birthparents or adoptive parents may have questions soon after finalization or many years later.

Adopted adults may have questions about adoption in general or their own birthparents. Adopted persons, birthparents and/or adoptive parents may wish further information about genetic backgrounds or may wish an actual meeting to be arranged between the parties.

Families who adopt children with SPECIAL NEEDS may need further counseling and support after the "honeymoon" period ends. Even parents who adopt children as infants often find adoption issues arise later and may seek expert assistance and counseling. Those who adopt children internationally may have dual challenges. Children may have developmental needs as well as questions about culture and country-specific issues.

Social worker Marietta Spencer has described how agencies can assist all members of the adoption triad well after finalization of an adoption. Spencer says the agency may share genetic information, assist in the exchange of nonidentifying information between triad members and provide an array of other services.

Jeffrey Rosenberg M.S.W., Mary Beth Seader, M.S.W., and William L. Pierce, Ph.D., "Ensuring the Survival of Families Who Adopt Children with Special Needs," National Council For Adoption, 1991.

Marietta E. Spencer, "Post-Legal Adoption Services: A Lifelong Commitment," in Infertility and Adoption: A Guide for Social Work Practice (New York: Haworth Press, 1988).

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