Evan B. Donaldson Study

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute just released a new report on best practices for parents preparing for adoption.  More info on their website.  -GS
Media Advisory: For Immediate Release


NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2008 – The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute issued a
major new report today, “Meeting the Mental Health and Developmental Needs
of Adopted Children.” The report represents the initial phase of a broad,
long-term Institute project designed to shape best-practice standards that
will assist adoption professionals in the preparation and education of
adoptive parents.

The principal recommendations in the report include:

* More information about adoption and foster care should be
incorporated into professionals’ graduate training programs, and better
continuing-education opportunities should be developed.

* Professionals should provide parent training/education both before
and after the adoption; those who cannot offer such services themselves
should provide appropriate referrals to their clients.

* Professionals should provide a balanced, realistic view of
adoption – focusing on appropriate skills and expectations generally, and on
the unique needs of the child to be adopted in particular.

* Because much of the current post-adoption counseling comes through
community-based mental health professionals, they should receive better
training in areas related to adoption.

“Our intent was to provide a roadmap that professionals nationwide can use
to create more-uniform and effective curricula to guide their work in one
important area of adoption – children’s mental health and development,” said
Dr. David Brodzinsky, the Institute’s Research and Project Director, who
heads its Adoption Parent Preparation Project. “In the future, we will
provide additional reports on more subjects and, as a consequence, we hope
to help all adoptive families succeed.”

The 18-page paper, called a Policy & Practice Perspective, will be
disseminated to professionals across the country. It is also available on
our website, www.adoptioninstitute.org/research/2008_02_parent_prep.php;
there is no charge for downloading or using the document.

The second phase of this project involves the development of a comprehensive
set of curriculum modules for training parents on the mental health,
developmental, and child-rearing issues related to adoption. The first of
these modules, focusing on mental health issues in adoption, is being tested
by practitioners and, after assessment and revision, will be made widely
available later this year.

The Adoption Institute’s mission is to provide leadership that improves
laws, policies and practices – through sound research, education and
advocacy – in order to better the lives of everyone touched by adoption. To
achieve its goals, the Institute conducts and synthesizes research; offers
education to inform public opinion; promotes ethical practices and legal
reforms; and works to translate policy into action. The Institute is
nonpartisan, non-profit and independent of any constituency or cause.

For more information about this paper, the Adoptive Parent Preparation
Project, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, or any of its other
studies or initiatives, please write to Dr. Brodzinsky at
dbrodzinsky@adoptioninstitute.org or to Pertman at


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