Marceau, K., De Araujo-Greecher, M., Miller, E. S., Massey, S. H., Mayes, L. C., Ganiban, J. M., Reiss, D., Shaw, D. S., Leve, L. D., & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2016). The perinatal risk index: Early risks experienced by domestic adoptees in the United States. PLOS One, 11(3): e0150486. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150486
Abstract: We aimed to assess comprehensively the prevalence of perinatal risks experienced by a potentially high-risk yet understudied population of children domestically adopted in the United States. Data are from participant report and medical records from mothers (n=580) who completed a domestic adoption placement with nonrelatives at or near birth (Mean placement age=7 days). We describe a comprehensive measure of perinatal risks, including divergences from previous assessment tools and the incorporation of multiple reporters, and report the prevalence of various types of perinatal risks. The prevalence of each specific risk factor was generally low, although several risks were more prevalent in this sample than estimates from nationally representative publicly available data. Nearly the entire sample (99%) experienced some type of risk exposure. Birth mothers who placed their children for adoption domestically in the US experience higher levels of perinatal risks than the national average, but not for all specific types of risk. Thus, the developmental trajectories of children adopted domestically may systematically differ from the general population to the extent that these specific perinatal risks impact development.