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Shared Fate: A Theory of Adoption and Mental Health.

Marshall D. Schechter, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(3):353-354. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720270125019.
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Research in depth is rare in the field of adoption. This situation has been greatly alleviated by H. David Kirk, PhD, in his book Shared Fate: A Theory of Adoption and Mental Health. The book is a result of Dr. Kirk's sociological research on adoption, and from these investigations he has drawn a number of inferences.

Working with large numbers of adoptive parents from geographically different areas, Dr. Kirk determined their attitudes, methods of coping with the problems of adoption, gratifications, and mechanisms of coping with their role handicap. This latter phrase, role handicap, embodies the constructs that Dr. Kirk uses to explain the difficulties inherent in adopting children. Usually the child, raised by biological parents, does not picture himself or herself in the role of a nonfecund adult. It is usual that children of all ages after verbalization is secure, do give explicit answers to questions of future vocation,


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