In most studies positive outcomes for families who have adopted children with developmental disabilities have been described. In this previous research, however, investigators have examined primarily short-term adjustment. In contrast, in the current longitudinal investigation 9 years after an initial interview, we assessed the adjustment and functioning of families who have adopted children with developmental disabilities. Results indicate that nearly 12 years after their adoptions, families remaining in the study reported generally positive outcomes and good adjustment to their adopted children. Whereas there were changes in these families, especially as the children approached adolescence and early adulthood, these changes were perceived as potential sources of reward as well as sources of stress.
This manuscript was supported, in part, by Grant No. HD 21993 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development awarded to the first author.