The developing person is effected by much more than their immediate situation, therefore Bronfenbrenner developed a theory that encompasses all of the surroundings that may influence a child and emphasizes the importance of the mutual relationships between each of these environments (Bristor, 2010). The interaction between surroundings is just as important as the environments themselves as these connections and transactions result in change and alteration in both the individual and their surroundings. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory accentuates the family as the most important environmental influence on the child as family members have a direct effect on the child through care, education and support as well as serve as links to other environments to the child such as school or the community (Bristor, 2010).
Family is defined as those related to one another through blood, marriage or adoption but can also take many other forms and is defined in varying ways (Cobb, 2014a). Adopted children are exposed to diverse environments throughout their lifetime in terms of pre-adoption, during adoption and even after adoption in comparison to those who live with their biological parents. This leads to development in children that are adopted that differs greatly from non-adopted children in respect to mental, behavioral and social development (Ward, 2011, p.175).
Due to the multitude of various factors and environments involved in adoption it seems appropriate to use Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory to examine the effect that takes place between each level as well as the interrelations that take place between environments. Analyzing the effect of adoption on all divisions of the ecological system can be essential for not only understanding the individual and family but also can aid in the development of appropriate intervention and policy measures (Hong, Algood, Chui & Lee, 2011). The objective of this paper is to accurately demonstrate the effect of adoption on the family from Bronfrenbrenner’s ecological theory’s perspective. These changes resulting from adoption will be made apparent not only in each environment but also the relationships between the environments as relations between the level systems are crucial in the development of the individual (Hong et. al., 2011).
The individual is characterized by their unique and defining features; these traits may be the person’s age, gender, psychological health, race and the list goes on. More simply defined the individual system in terms of Bronfenbrenner’s model is the characteristics of a single person (Cobb, 2014a). Adoption is a source of identity for many adopted individuals and this sense caries on into adulthood (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2013). The many aspects related to the identity of an adoptee can therefore be attributed to the experiences that result from the adoption process and all that proceeds and follows it. Adopted children are characterized by...