February 1964

Emotional Problems In the Adoptee

Author Affiliations

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Schechter); Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (Dr. Carlson); Instructor of Psychiatry (Dr. Simmons III); Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Work), The Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(2):109-118. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720200005002

In modern society, adoption has provided an effective procedure for dealing with children who for one reason or another are separated from their natural parents. Certain aspects and implications of the adoptive process, however, may produce increased stresses upon personality development. Recent observations by Schechter27 have indicated that the percentage of adopted children seen for psychiatric help far outnumbers the proportion of adoptees in the general population. Schechter found that, over a five year period of private practice, 13% of the children he saw were nonrelative adoptees. However, the estimated national average of children adopted by nonrelatives was 1%.* were adopted as of 1961. Half of these children are estimated to be adopted by nonrelatives, half by relatives (mainly by step-parents). The Children's Bureau estimates that 1% of the total US child population as of 1961 were adopted by nonrelatives. These descriptive statistics are limited because annual figures ares "estimates" and are based on incomplete figures, formalized adoption

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