Post-adoption service need and access: Differences between international, kinship and non-kinship foster care

Darcey H. Merritt, Trudy Festinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Post-adoption services are important to bolster a family's commitment to their adopted children, thus avoiding potential problems following adoption finalization. It is vitally important to assess post-adoption services in an effort to ensure families are provided with effective supports for successful family functioning. Few investigators have assessed service needs and access according to adoptive family type. This study focuses on international, foster care kin and foster care non-kin adoption types. Utilizing the National Survey of Adoptive Parents, this research investigated twelve post-adoption services. Two comparisons were made with respect to whether, according to the adoptive parents, post-adoption services were received or not received: 1) international and foster care non-kin adoptive families; and 2) foster care kin and foster non-kin adoptive families. International non-kin families were more likely to indicate they discussed post-adoption services than foster care non-kin families, particularly among those who were white, had adopted boys, had no other children in the home, and whose socio-economic background was lower. When comparing foster care non-kin families with kinship families, non-kin families tended to receive more desired services than kinship families, with kinship families indicating less need for services. Policy efforts and program design need to focus on reaching out to families and developing effective post-adoption services based on the expressed needs of families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1913-1922
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Adoption types
  • Foster care adoptions
  • International adoptions
  • Kinship adoptions
  • Post-adoption services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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