Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Summary Report. 2.3.5 Support Networks

11/01/2002

Many adoptive parents utilize available support groups or rely on a more experienced adoptive parent as a mentor (Barth and Berry, 1991; Berry and Barth, 1989; Brooks, Allen, and Barth, 2000; Daly and Sobol, 1994). A growing number of support groups are available to adoptive families. Parent groups typically provide support in dealing with the variety of issues facing adoptive parents, including intercountry adoptions; special needs adoptions; future reunification with birth parents; and emotional, social, and educational assistance pre- and post-adoption. Parent support groups can be organized by parents or through support networks sponsored by community, state, and national-level public and private agencies. There does not appear to be any research that specifically evaluates the effectiveness of these support groups.

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