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Kenrick, J. (2004). Commentary on “Treatment of an Adopted Child: The Case of Roger”. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 3(3):402-405.

(2004). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 3(3):402-405

Commentary on “Treatment of an Adopted Child: The Case of Roger” Related Papers

Jenny Kenrick, M.A., (Cantab), M.A.C.P.

In recent years in the United Kingdom, it has been unusual for babies to be placed at birth with adoptive parents. Legal procedures have ensured that the first placement is to a foster carer before any matching between baby and already approved adopters can take place. This means that by the time the baby is placed, it will be a minimum of a few months old and will have had at least two significant separations in its short life. There are some strategies with Concurrent Planning schemes to avoid this situation, and, as seen from the perspective of the infants' attachments, initial results seem positive. Since the 1989 Children Act, however, the majority of U.K. adoptions have been of considerably older children who may have been exposed to numerous attempts to rehabilitate them in their family of origin and to many foster care placements. They are likely to have had a cumulative experience of separations, with impact on their capacity to attach when placed for adoption. The U.K. Adoption and Children Act of 2002 is an attempt to redress that situation.

The case of 11-year-old Roger, described by his therapist Neal Vorus, therefore holds a particular interest for me because, in spite of his placement at birth, his therapy threw up many of the same themes that we see in children placed at an older age. Roger's case both complements and contrasts with the case of Eileen.

As with Eileen, the theme of abandonment resounds throughout his therapist's description of his twice-weekly work with Roger over three years.

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