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CULTURE AND IDENTITY


BELONGING IN ADOPTIVE FAMILIES

The formation of a family requires time and adjustment for everyone. Perceived similarities and differences between parents and children are an important facet of this adjustment. Biologic families search for similarities in appearance, temperament, intelligence, interests, and behavior. Identification of these traits promotes bonding and closeness between parent and child. In adoptive families, the meaning of similarity and difference between parent and child is more complex.

Considerable literature supports the notion that adoptive parents have higher expectations and more satisfying experiences in parenting than biologic parents, and offer significantly more warmth, affection, and acceptance of their child. Parenting quality is often superior to that of birth parents, which suggests that genetic ties are less important for family function than strong desire for parenthood. Adoptive parents tend to be highly functional individuals, less inclined to live vicariously, and more tolerant or sensitive of differences.

 

From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.

 

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