The Legacies Of Trees

The Legacies Of Trees
Children face loss in the best of homes. Adoption is not always a better life but a different one. Support The Legacies of Trees.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nature Vs Nuture

During the twentieth century, child adoption was reimagined in scientific terms, as a social experiment and human laboratory that could produce knowledge as well as help children. Researchers were persuaded that adoption could answer basic scientific questions about development, nature and nurture, and family norms. Professionals and parents were persuaded that scientific research would improve family-making by minimizing risks and maximizing safety. Adoption has been the subject of four major types of empirical research: field studies, outcome studies, nature-nurture studies, and psychopathology studies.

Field studies conducted in several states during the 1910s and 1920s were the first real empirical investigations of adoption in the United States. They aimed to gather basic statistical data on how many and what types of adoptions were occurring, drawing primarily on agency and court records. How many adoptions were there? At what age were children adopted? By whom? Who arranged adoptions? Field studies had two main purposes: to determine whether states’ regulatory requirements were adequate and to discover whether those requirements were being followed or ignored. Field studies did not contact families after adoption decrees were issued or follow up on children later in life, as outcome studies did. What they did was link child welfare and the promise of safety in the adoption process to policies promoting extensive regulation by professionals, agencies, and courts.

Outcome studies are a well-established research genre today, but early in the twentieth century, they were new. How did adopted children and adoptive families turn out five, ten, or twenty years after placement? By finding out what had happened to children and parents later in life, outcome studies offered a way to predict and control future adoptions by studying the results of adoptions arranged in the past.
These studies defined outcomes in many different ways, but all tried to correlate “inputs”—such as child's sex, age at adoption, natal family background, and adopters' characteristics—with measures of child development, parental satisfaction, and success (or failure) later in life. They aimed to reveal which variables, in which combinations, produced which outcomes. Which family-making practices and kinship configurations had good results? Which had bad results? Outcome studies embodied the conviction that systematic research was essential to improving the results of future adoptions for children and families.
The first major outcome study was conducted by Sophie van Senden Theis and the New York State Charities Aid Association. How Foster Children Turn Out, published in 1924, followed up on the cases of 910 children placed between 1898 and 1922.

Nature-nurture studies utilized adoption data to answer basic scientific questions about how and why human beings turn out as they do and where individual differences originate.
Because non-relative adoptions separated parental genes (nature) from family environment (nurture), adoption amounted to the sort of scientific experiment that could not otherwise be ethically conducted with human beings. Nature-nurture studies were designed by developmental psychologists and other researchers in the human sciences to reveal the relative power of heredity and home in intellectual and psychological development. In this sense, nature-nurture studies are different than field studies and outcome studies, which were conducted mainly by social work researchers interested in using empirical data to refine future adoption practice and policy. But like these other kinds of adoption studies, nature-nurture science reinforced the belief that producing knowledge and protecting children were mutually reinforcing.
Researchers whose initial interest in adoption was abstract and theoretical often found themselves confronting very practical questions from parents and professionals. Did nature-nurture science support or contradict the placement of newborns and infants in adoptive homes? Should children with shameful or unknown natal backgrounds be placed for adoption? What did nature-nurture studies suggest about matching children and adults?

Does adoption jeopardize the mental and emotional health of children, making adoptees especially vulnerable to developmental, behavioral, and academic problems? Most people connected to adoption today think it does. Most Americans agree that adoption is a “risk factor,” according to public opinion polls.
The belief that adoption has a psychology of its own is recent, indebted to a tradition of controversial clinical studies linking adoption to psychopathology. Beginning around World War II, some mental health professionals, often influenced by psychoanalysis, proposed that the losses associated with adoption made normal development tricky for adopted children and stability difficult to achieve for adoptive families. The new worries about adoption generated by psychopathology studies added to already well established concerns that available children were feeble-minded and adoption unusually risky.
Psychopathology studies equated difference with damage. They helped to transform adoption into a full-fledged object of casework and counseling, and this was essential for the emergence of therapeutic adoption. The rapid spread of post-adoption services, non-existent in 1950, indicates that many parents and professionals now accept the need for long-term, perhaps permanent, help in order to avoid or manage adoption-related problems.
Awareness that the parties to adoption face unique psychological challenges may well be one of the things that makes twentieth-century adoption practices historically distinctive—as distinctive as the psychology of adoption itself.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why Most Adoptees Are Not Religious

Closed adoptees all suffer the same thing...the lack of not knowing who they are or knowing another genetic relative. This causes similar thoughts that they are not from this earth. That they are somehow alien-hybrids. It causes great trauma and is a profoundly painful experience to not look like anyone you know.

Genealogical bewilderment is confusion and uncertainty regarding genealogical continuity, tied to the lack of knowledge about one’s ancestors. Accordingly, the lack of ‘‘biological mutuality’’ among adoptive family members, such as shared biologically based characteristics regarding appearance, intellectual skills, personality traits, and so forth, impedes the adoptee’s ability to identify with adoptive parents. Moreover, the lack of information about one’s biological background is likely to create a ‘‘hereditary ghost’’ which may contribute to a confused, unstable, and distorted sense of self.  Self development does not have closure in adolescence, especially among adoptees, but continues to evolve over the lifespan through reconciliation and integration of many complex perceptions, cognitive systems, and self-object representations. Adoption loss comes in "waves" and the full magnitude does not hit until adulthood.

The overwhelming majority of adoptees are atheist, agnostic or deistey and this is greatly different from the average American population of 24%. (it is been pointed out that people who identify as Catholic, Baptist ect may not be active in the religion or belive all of its teachings) One reason is the bad adoption practices of the middle 20th century by religious agencies. Religion itself pressured unwed women into surrendering their children. Having to rethink everything you were taught may contribute.

Adoptees have been removed from one possible timeline and placed into another. Most adoptees have a lifelong view into a parallel universe in which they weren't surrendered. It is like existing in two different timelines. Two different families. One theory  sometimes called the sixth sense, is that there are two sub consciousnesses. This theory conjectures that two realities exist – a physical one and a second one. The theory claims that a sixth sense can occur when there is integration between both realities. Adoptees studied view the passage of time differently and are able to peel back the layers of what is real and what is not.

Studies differ as to the actual existence of this adoptee sixth sense. Daryl Bem, an emeritus social psychology professor at Cornell University, did nine experiments with over 1000 participants. Bem had a computer program hide images either on the right or the left side of the screen. When erotic images were shown, participants got it right 53% of the time. The researcher could not explain why extrasensory perception tended to work more with erotic images than other kinds of images. One theory is that somehow humans evolved in an attempt to survive and reproduce an ability to sense things out of the three dimensions in which we exist. Primal reasons for this are encoded deep within our DNA. Scientists conclude that time may not flow evenly in one direction. We are just scratching the surface of how the brain works.

 Knowledge of and definite relationship to his genealogy is necessary for a child to build up his complete body image and world picture. It is an inalienable and entitled right of every person. There is an urge, a call, in everybody to follow and fulfill the tradition of his family, race, nation, and the religious community into which he was born. The loss of this tradition is a deprivation of self.

Stephen Hawking compared religion and science in 2010, saying: "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority [imposed dogma, faith], [as opposed to] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."
Whatever you believe is fine. Be sure to question everything and don't believe what you want to believe. Look only at the facts.