The Romanian Adoption Project: Emerging Adulthood

This is Phase 5 of a longitudinal project begun in 1991 in which we have followed the development of early deprived children adopted by Canadian families from Romanian orphanages.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lucy Le Mare
Funding Agency:
SSHRC Small grant

Additional Team Members:
Dr. Karyn Audet; Zahia Marzouk; Sylvie Couture-Nowak; Arlette Stewart

What's Proposed

This project aims to examine the impact of early deprivation on human development and the potential of adoption into a positive rearing environment to mitigate negative effects.

How This Project is Carried Out

The Romanian Adoption Project has entailed comprehensive assessments of adoptees and their families when the adoptees had been in their adoptive homes 11 months post-adoption and again when they were 4, 10, and 16 years old.  At Phase 5, which is currently underway, adoptees are now young adults.

Why This Project Matters

Following these adoptees into adulthood will continue to elucidate risk and protective factors for early-deprived children.  Such data have decisive implications for theories of development and wide-ranging policy implications for child and youth services.  Given that similar international adoptions continue in Canada at a rate of about 2000 per year (Hillborn, 2011), understanding the effects of early deprivation, strains these effects place on families, and the consequences for social, educational, and health services is highly significant.