Factors associated with special needs adoption disruption
Hall Grosett, Marie-Elena
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This explanatory study is retrospective in design and examined 23 independent variables relevant to why some special needs adoptions succeed (remain intact) and why others fail (disrupt). Three groups of children known to the New York state foster care system comprised the study population (N = 164): adoption intact (n = 47), adoption disrupted (n = 50), and a contrast group of never adopted (n = 67). By combining the adoption-intact and the adoption-disrupted groups (n = 97) for the purposes of data analysis, a fourth group was created allowing for the examination of adoption status between the adopted and never-adopted groups.;Significant differences were found in the pre-placement histories of adoption-disrupted and adoption-intact children. Significant differences were also found in pre-placement histories of adopted and never-adopted children.;Attachment theory is the theoretical orientation around which this study is organized. The application of attachment theory to the phenomenon of adoption disruption is inductive, based on the findings of adoption research pertaining to attachment ability and to adoption disruption research pertaining to a child's pre-placement history. The link for this study lies in the documented connection between attachment difficulties and pre-placement history. In this regard, attachment can be conceptualized as an intervening variable. Pre-placement history has been demonstrated to affect attachment ability and attachment ability has been demonstrated to influence adoption success. Therefore, it is not the pre-placement history itself that directly impacts adoption outcome or adoption status.;The findings reveal four characteristic profiles that have permanency planning ramifications for special needs children: (1) A child most likely to be adopted. (2) An adopted child whose adoption is most likely to remain intact. (3) An adopted child whose adoption is at risk of. (4) A child at risk of never being adopted (growing up in and aging out of foster care).;Upon further examination of risk indicators, logistic regression revealed a composite history of six problematic behaviors that correctly predicted the likelihood of adoption disruption 90% of the time.