Adoption Losses: Naturally Occurring or Socially Constructed?



The American definition of kinship based on biological ties, the practice of closed adoption, and stigmas associated with adoption may decisively influence adoption-related losses. Cross-cultural and historical accounts of adoption that do not apply to these contemporary American constructs of parenthood and practices of adoption suggest outcomes that are not as integrally based on loss. Adoption in infancy is defined as parenting a child with one set of (adoptive) parents and two (adoptive and birth) families. Implications for adoption research, policy, and practice are discussed.