The Importance of Providing Background Information to Adoptive Families

As families begin the adoption process, adoptive parents need as much background information about their child as possible. This background information can help provide a picture of the child’s history, experiences, and medical information, which is key to making an informed decision and ultimately ensuring a strong adoptive match.  Professionals can help families understand the potential effects those circumstances may have on the child’s current and future functioning and on the adoptive family dynamic. Additionally, this background information will be important to share with the child so that they can incorporate it into their identity and life story. 

The amount of information available and what can be shared will vary, depending on the type of adoption. Information about adopted persons is also governed by state laws. When permitted, a thorough and complete disclosure can benefit the child, adoptive family, and agency in many ways:

  • Parents will be better equipped to assess their abilities to care for the child. Armed with information, parents can seek out resources and training to better understand their child’s needs and plan for how best to care for him or her in the long term.  
  • Agencies can feel more confident in the adoption match knowing that the child and parents were given the information needed to prepare. 
  • Adopted children will have vital knowledge about his or her family medical and genetic history.

The resources below can help families and professionals know what information is most important to obtain.  Access to all available information and comprehensive adoption preparation, preservation, and support services will increase adoption stability and improve permanency outcomes for children and families.  

More information: www.childwelfare.gov

This was originally shared by the Child Welfare Adoption Triad - January 15, 2019.