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Adopted child syndrome is a controversial term that has been used to explain behaviors in adopted children that are claimed to be related to their adoptive status. Specifically, these include problems in bonding, attachment disorders, lying, stealing, defiance of authority, and acts of violence. The term has never achieved acceptance in the professional community. The term is not found in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, TR. David Kirschner, who coined the term, says that most adoptees are not disturbed and that the syndrome only applies to "a small clinical subgroup".[1] Researchers Brodizinsky, Brodzinsky, Schechter, & Henig[2] find that in a review of the literature, generally children adopted before the age of six-months fare no differently than children raised with their biological parents. Later problems that develop among children adopted from the child welfare system at an older age are usually associated with the effects of chronic early maltreatment in the caregiving relationship; abuse and neglect.

Psychologist Betty Jean Lifton, herself an adopted person, has written extensively on psychopathology in adopted people, primarily in Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience, and Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness and briefly discusses Adopted child syndrome.[1]

There are many reasons for Adoption and the effects of adoption vary, depending on the age of the child at adoption, past history, number of placments, history of maltreatment, and various other issues.

Main article: Child Welfare
Main article: Adoption
Main article: Child Abuse

See also Edit

External linksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lifton, Betty Jean (1975). "Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience" ISBN 0-06-097132-0 (pp.274 - 275).
  2. Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by David M. Brodzinsky, Marshall D. Schecter, and Robin Marantz Henig, 1993
  • Smith, Jerome. "The Adopted Child Syndrome: A Methodological Perspective" Families in Society 82 no5 491-7 S/O 2001
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