The purpose of the book is to help prospective parents better understand the risk factors as well as the protective factors a child from overseas is presenting, support the parents through the decision-making process, and guide them during the period of transition in their lives as their new child moves into their family.The premise of Risk and Promise is that the success of any adoptive placement is a function of not only the capabilities and needs of the child, but also the expectations, characteristics, and lifestyle of the adoptive family members. It is important that prospective adoptive families assess their tolerance for uncertainty, for the potential challenges that the child may bring, and the parents' ability (financial and otherwise) to modify their lifestyle in order to accommodate the demands of a child who may be quite challenging. Along these lines, a secondary objective of this book is to enlighten prospective adoptive parents regarding the extent of what may be required of them if, indeed, they are to fulfill the commitment that they are making in taking on the responsibility for a child whose needs will unfold over time.Risk and Promise is written by a team of pediatricians, a clinical psychologist, and an infant mental health specialist based on their extensive research and clinical experience in working with children adopted from overseas. The first two sections of the book provide prospective parents with information as it will come to them during the adoption process. Each major section is then divided into key subsections that focus the information on specific characteristics related to the child. The book's third section consists of worksheets that parents can fill out to help them collect baseline information that will be helpful in both the short and long term. The authors' goal in writing this book is to insure that every adoption is a well-informed adoption that ultimately promotes the health and development of the child and the family.
Ira J. Chasnoff, M.D., is President of the Children's Research Triangle and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and prenatal and postnatal trauma. Dr. Chasnoff received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and served a pediatric residency at Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago. He is the author of six books and over 100 research articles on the effects of maternal drug use and child neglect on the long-term cognitive, behavioral, and learning outcomes of children. Dr. Chasnoff has published six books that explore biological and environmental factors that impact the ultimate development of young children and present practical strategies for helping children reach their full potential at home and in the classroom. The recipient of several national and international awards for his work with high risk women, children, and families, Dr. Chasnoff for several years has been selected by a poll of physicians across the nation for listing in America's Best Doctors. Previous Books: Chasnoff IJ, Your Child: A Medical Guide. (1st and 2nd editions) Publications International, Skokie, IL, 1983, 1987 Chasnoff IJ, Ellis J and Glassroth Z. Family Medical Guide, Publications International, Skokie, IL, 1984 Chasnoff IJ (ed). Drug Use in Pregnancy: Mother and Child. MTP Press: Lancaster, England, 1986 Chasnoff IJ (ed). Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy and Parenting. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Lancaster UK, 1988.Chasnoff IJ (ed). Clinics in Perinatology:Chemical Dependency and Pregnancy. W.B. Saunders Company, Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. March, 1991.Chasnoff IJ, Anson A, Iaukea K. Educational Implications of Prenatal Drug Exposure. U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., 1998. Chasnoff IJ, Anson A, Iaukea K. Understanding the Drug-Exposed Child: Approaches to Behavior and Learning, Imprint Publications: Chicago, Illinois, 1998.Chasnoff IJ. The Nature of Nurture: Biology, Environment, and the Drug-Exposed Child. NTI Publishing: Chicago, Illinois, 2001.McGourty RM and Chasnoff IJ. Power Beyond Measure. NTI Publishing: Chicago, Illinois, 2003.Linda Schwartz, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a specialization in Child and Family Psychology. She is the Clinical Director at the Child Study Center in Chicago, where clinicians provide medical, developmental and psychological evaluations, as well as therapy, for at risk children, most of whom are adopted or in the foster care system. Dr. Schwartz has nineteen years of clinical and research experience with children and adolescents who have a variety of developmental, behavioral and emotional disorders. Cheryl Pratt, PhD is a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Developmental Psychologist, and an Infant Mental Health Specialist. Her work focuses on children at risk from early abandonment and trauma with a specialization in attachment and maternal/infant interaction. Dr. Pratt has taught at St. Xavier University, Loyola University of Chicago, Governors State University, and the Erikson Institute for Advanced Child Development and has presented nationally on a range of Infant Mental Health issues as well as developmental and social-emotional screening and assessment in young infants. Her research interests include the study of parent-child relationships in dyads experiencing perinatal vulnerability, substance abuse, and other pediatric chronic and acute illnesses. Currently Dr. Pratt works at the Child Study Center in Chicago, Illinois as the Coordinator for the infant/toddler team and oversees clinical training programs.Gwendolyn J. Neuberger, MD is a board-certified pediatrician at Children's Research Triangle, specializing in preadoption assessments for international adoption.. Dr. Neuberger received her medical degree and served a pediatric residency at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.