During the past three years reports have appeared suggesting that parents of adopted children apply for psychiatric care of their children many times more frequently than nonadopting parents. These reports have aroused interest and concern among child welfare agencies. Prompted by this concern, the Staten Island Mental Health Center undertook a review of 593 cases studied at that child psychiatric clinic between 1956 and 1962. In this sample of cases only a small difference could be discovered between the rate of applications for adopted versus biological children and the proportions of such children living in the community.
The sample of children studied at the Staten Island Mental Health Center differed from the children studied in two reports which have generated much discussion. Dr. Schecter1 reported a high rate of adopted children admitted to his private practice of child psychiatry in Southern California between 1948 and 1953.