suggests the therapeutic or even Freudian
orientation of adoption home
studies after midcentury. Especially notable is the emphasis
on interpretation of unconscious or hidden factors—visible
in the contrast Fradkin draws between the things “clients”
actually say and the worker’s impression or diagnosis of what
they are actually feeling. The reference to O.W. is to out-of-wedlock
births, or illegitimacy.
OUTLINE FOR ADOPTION STUDIES
I. Presentation of Clients (How do they present themselves)
a. How do they come; tone of letter or telephone call; way of relating,
b. What do they know about the agency.
c. Worker’s personal impression.
II. What is their expressed comfort with adoption (what
do they tell us)
a. Personal experience with it.
b. Limits and requirements expressed.
c. First reaction to discussion of whether or not they will tell
a child of adoption.
d. Expressed knowledge of source of supply of children; attitude
III. Our impression of their comfort with adoption (What do we
a. Efforts to have own child.
b. Length of time involved in work-up
c. Difficulty and timing of decision to adopt
d. Reasons for delay.
e. Their attitude towards risks in adoption.
IV. Infertility and its implications (What does it mean to them)
a. Reasons, definiteness.
b. Medical exploration.
c. Reality to couple or family
d. Meaning to person and marriage
1. How do they talk about it.
2. Degree of acceptance.
e. Hints of possible contributing psychological factors.
V. Marital Relationship
a. Impression (with substantiating evidence)
b. Cross background facts (emotional tones)
1. Family relationships
2. Childhood and adolescence
3. Interests and hobbies
4. Meeting and courtship
c. Estimate of effect of background facts as evidenced by adult
d. Indications of break with child’s role, readiness for
responsibility and parenthood.
e. Sexual adjustment.
f. Impression of dependency balance in the marriage.
VI. Attitudes toward parenthood and children
a. Expressed motivations for parenthood.
b. Experience with children.
c. Sensitivity to children and their needs
d. Kinds of children they like; qualities they admire and disapprove.
e. Expectations for a child; impression of pressures on a child.
f. Sex preference
1. Strength and expressed reason
2. Suspected reason
g. Impression of ability to take on and share a child.
VII. Ability to support a child
a. Financial position
VIII. Security with agency
a. Re its decision in relation to selection of a child
b. Ability to work with the agency
Worker’s impression of positives and risks for child as evidenced
by material from interviews, medical reports, references, etc.
a. What family were left with.
b. How worker accredited them as people
c. How worker prepared them for placement or rejection
d. Clients reaction and expectation
This Is Suggestive: Obviously, not all interviews will include
all this. Rejections obvious early in the interview might omit whole
sections and dwell on acknowledgment of all these people have and
possibility of rejection notwithstanding, with reasons and preparation.
Evidence supporting decision to reject should appear in dictation.