Adults who were adopted as older children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Y. Powell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rebecca M. Smith

Abstract: Over 100,000 older, handicapped, emotionally disturbed, and minority race children await adoptive placement. In recent years a major effort has been made to place such children in adoptive homes. Previously only infants and toddlers had been considered adoptable. Therefore, inadequate literature exists regarding older children adoptions. An opportunity was afforded to conduct in-depth interviews with 17 adults who were adopted as older children an average of 18.5 years ago. A qualitative analysis of these interviews revealed a causal developmental pattern. Although each subject suffered early childhood traumas, deprivation, and loss of family, each has recovered to function adequately as an adult. These adults tended to have developed patterns of trusting interpersonal relationships and to have become adequate marriage partners and caring parents. Two hypotheses were generated for further research: 1. Adults adopted at age 6 or older, who recall their adoptive experience, tend to have a pattern of unique and characteristic life styles. 2. Adults adopted at age 6 or older, when given choice, preparation, and participation in the adoptive experience, tend toward closeness with the adoptive family and tend to reconcile painful childhood memories.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1983
Older child adoption

Email this document to