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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1982 Aug;170(8):489-93.

Adoption and adaptation.


A review of 5135 patients registered for their first psychiatric services at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute during the period 1969 to 1978 found 113 patients who had been adopted as children. While the representation of adoptees among Children's Service patients was somewhat higher than expected (5 per cent as against an expected 2.2 per cent), the representation of adoptees among adult patients (1.6 per cent) was actually below the expected rate (2.2 per cent in the population at large). Two thirds of the child adoptees were placed in their adoptive homes by the time they were 1 year old. There were no significant differences in psychiatric diagnoses assigned to adopted and nonadopted patients at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. The authors conclude that adoptees are not generally overrepresented in psychiatric samples, though it is true that they may be seen somewhat more frequently in child psychiatry clinics. The authors also conclude that, while adoption may serve as a focus for psychopathology in individual cases, adoption itself cannot be seen as specifically pathogenic.

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