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The Basics of Adoption Practice
Series: Bulletins for Professionals|
Child Welfare Information Gateway |
|Year Published: 2006|
7. Sharing Information With Families
Information about the child's history may be shared with a prospective adoptive family in a presentation meeting or electronically. For families considering adoption from foster care and in some cases of intercountry adoption, the information is usually shared before any actual meeting with a specific child, so that the family can decide whether to proceed.
Sharing information serves several purposes:
- Introduces background information about the child to the family
- Provides the family with information regarding the child's present level of functioning
- Initiates the family's self-evaluation process
In some cases, information is minimal, making it more difficult for families to make decisions about their ability to provide a nurturing home for a particular child or sibling group. Additionally, the ability of prospective parents to make good, thoughtful decisions may be affected by their eagerness, their reluctance to turn down a child, or their desire not to disappoint the worker or agency.
Workers and agencies have an ethical responsibility to share all nonidentifying information about the child and birth family with prospective adoptive parents. Providing accurate and complete background information is important for several reasons:
- It helps the prospective adoptive family make an informed decision.
- It ensures that the child is placed in an environment that can meet his or her needs.
- It ensures that the adopted person has full and accurate knowledge of his or her family, medical, and genetic history.
- It helps protect agencies and intermediaries from "wrongful adoption" lawsuits.
More information can be found in the Information Gateway bulletin Providing Background Information to Adoptive Parents.
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