There has been an enormous amount of research conducted about adoptees and their problems with identity formation. Many of the researchers agree on some of the causes of identity formation problems in adolescent adoptees, while other researchers conclude that there is no significant difference in identity formation in adoptees and birth children. This paper will discuss some of the research which has been conducted and will attempt to answer the following questions: Do adoptees have identity formation difficulties during adolescence? If so, what are some of the causes of these vicissitudes? Is there a significant difference between identity formation of adoptees and nonadoptees?
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According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting system, in 2011 there were 104, 236 children waiting to be adopted in the United States (p. 4). Adoption is the legal process an individual or family goes through to gain legal custody of a child in foster care. This child’s parents have lost custody of their child because they have been deemed unfit to raise the child, either because of neglect or abuse. After the child is removed from the horrible situation, he or she is taken by child services and placed in a foster home or with a family member. This system is in place to protect children from further abuse, neglect and trauma.
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