A study of U.S. adoption breakdown : exploring current factors associated with breakdown and challenging times in adoption adjustment.


Access rights

Worldwide access.
Access changed 5/23/23.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Adoption breakdown often results in devastating effects for the family and child. Children and parents who experience adoption breakdown suffer adverse residual effects of a traumatic experience. Given the dire outcomes following adoption breakdown, additional research is needed to continue to explore this phenomenon and identify ways to decrease the risk of breakdown for families and children. This study seeks to take steps towards these goals through a systematic review of current literature on adoption breakdown in the U.S., exploration of present factors associated with adoption breakdown, and finally, by investigating adoptive families’ adjustment process in adoption from the perspective of the adoption caseworker. The theoretical frameworks of attachment theory and ecological system theory were used to guide the conceptualization and design of each of these studies. Chapter Five provides a summary of each study with implications for social work practice and future research.



Adoption adjustment. Child welfare. Honeymoon period. Post-adoption support. Adoption disruption. Adoption dissolution. Adoption breakdown. Placement discontinuity. Adoption competency.