By Carole R. Smith (auth.)
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Extra info for Adoption and Fostering: Why and How
In other words, psychodynamic disturbance may be understood to underlie and causally influence the development of organic pathology, presen ting the condition described by Sandler (1961) as a 'drive to remain sterile'. The basis of this aversion to parenthood has been variously interpreted as an unconscious denial of sexuality, a defence ofdisturbed personalities against pregnancy and motherhood, fear of pregnancy and childbirth, anxiety, insecurity or guilt about capacity for parenthood, immature personality, faulty learning about sexual roles, disturbed relationships with own parents (more particularly mothers) and lack of perceived permission to become pregnant.
Fourthly, other researchers (for example, Bohman, 1971 and Raynor, 1980) have pointed to the likelihood that adopted children may have some problems in middle childhood which are resolved as they get older, and this suggestion is reinforced by Clarke (1981) on the basis of her review of research studies. Information from follow-up studies of adult adoptees also supports this view, as will be appreciated from the foregoing discussion which identified satisfactory outcome in around 75 per cent or more ofcases.
Despite the reassuring findings of many follow-up studies, profes- Is Blood Thicker than Water? 25 sional ambivalence about adoption seems to persist beyond an appreciation of knowledge which we have gained in this way. It is likely, therefore, that there are other factors at work which relate to the 'man-made' nature of adoptive families, the motivation of prospective adopters, the psychological well- being of adopted children, and a perceived artificiality in adoption arrangements. When assessing what makes for rewarding relationships, most of us would stress the quality and continuity of social interaction, shared experiences, joint activities, commonly held values, and so on.