ATTACHMENT AND BONDING
SEVERE ATTACHMENT DISORDER
Attachment disorder and international adoption have been linked in the news on several tragic occasions over the past 10 years. At least two Russian adoptees said to have RAD have been killed. In both cases, the adoptive parents were accused and/or convicted of the crimes. The defense claimed that the children had severe RAD and that their injuries were self-inflicted.
In addition to these two tragedies, many more children with severe behavioral disturbances have been adopted by American families. Many have been removed from the adoptive homes and placed in specialized foster care, juvenile detention facilities, or psychiatric facilities. No statistics are kept that reveal the scope of this problem. However, between 1994 and 2001, one agency that arranges adoptions of special-needs youngsters placed 105 Eastern European children who were unable to remain with their original adopting families, often due to RAD. Some children had to be placed with three or even four different families. Many of the children had been neglected and sexually abused in Russia; after adoption some displayed severely aggressive behaviors, molesting others and even attempting murder. The tragedy for these children and their parents is enormous.
From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.