March 11, 2012

Marianne Haslev Skånland:

Is biological kinship irrelevant for the life of human beings?


This article is a revised and translated version of one in Norwegian entitled "Er biologisk slektskap irrelevant for menneskenes liv?", originally published in 2007. It appeared first in Liberal, a periodical published by Det Liberale Folkepartiet ('Classical Liberal Party of Norway') and has later appeared on several websites, including http://www.mhskanland.net.

It was written in the context of some programmes shown on Norwegian television at the time, programmes in which the programme host helped a number of persons who for various reasons had been separated from their biological families to find relatives. Many of the programmes showed very touching and emotional reunions while in a few these meetings were more problematic. I have found it unnecessary to revise the article extensively, since I think the context, which was at the time very well known all over Norway by people watching these tv programmes, is easily understood abroad also, and since most of the article deals with research and cultural knowledge which is independent of the particular circumstances in Norway 5 years ago. I have, however, brought in the matter of new legislation coming in 2012 (if it cannot be stopped) which will take away altogether every trace of a special position for parents in relation to their own children (see section 6).

The translations into English of Norwegian and Swedish quotes etc are mine.



In the issue 5:2 of June, 2007 of
Liberal, Geir Levi Nilsen has an article: "Family repairman and genetic detective" ('Familiereparatør og genetisk detektiv'), critical against Tore Strømøy's programmes "Tore on the track" ('Tore på sporet'). Nilsen refers particularly to one of the programmes in which the meeting between a biological mother from South-America, her son adopted away to Norway and his adoptive parents was not a success. Nilsen sees a connection between such programmes and similar reports, on the one hand, and religious, reactionary circles who "harp on" the irreplaceability of the nuclear family, on the other, and he directs his arguments against political trends and the media, as well as against what he sees as unfortunate side-effects of genetic research. He expresses that "The family can be an explosive unit" and as far as I can see he holds this to be quite as likely as the opposite.

1. Emotions

Thirty years ago I should probably have believed just about the same as Nilsen regarding families, social life, and genetic/biological kinship. However, such a view is difficult to maintain if one takes into account existing and very comprehensive research about kinship, adoption and other types of child-raising by other persons than the children's own parents or near relations. It has become clear that biological relatedness carries with it a special type of feelings of belonging together which is found between close kin and a feeling of distance or disengagement towards non-relatives. Such feelings are often thought to be irrational or arbitrary because they make individuals choose persons and milieus without regard to whether or not this gives material or other obvious advantages. These kinship feelings of togetherness that people have are a far stronger driving force than one might think and it is in fact possible to show that kinship attachment is really not irrational at all.

2. The relationship parents-children has evolved through evolution

Kinship ties are based on the relationship between parents and their own offspring. This relationsip is of course nature-given and the drive on a biochemical level is the mechanism whereby genes duplicate and pass on to new generations. That can only take place if the individual who carries the genes breeds offspring. The "interest" of the gene is therefore concurrent with the interest of the gene-carrying individual.

In many species the offspring must be protected, fed and helped until a more mature age. If parents did not give such assistance, the young would stand little chance of surviving. Family lines without parental instincts to give care and protection to the offspring would therefore – to the extent they have ever existed – die out in competition with others in which the parents help their children get on. The same would happen if the drive to give care was directed indiscriminately (unselfishly) towards any young. In such a case, the parents A would be exploited parasitically by other individuals B, who would get A to raise B's children at the expense of A's own children. A's unselfish genes would therefore not be passed on. Among all species where offspring need parental care to survive, the family lines which have survived are those in which parents have strong instincts to give care and protection and where the instincts give priority to their own children.

We might perhaps speculate that humans, with their relatively newly evolved large cognitive brain capacity and their ability to handle secondary and long-range information on the basis of language, would have weakened parental instincts and would steer their behaviour in directions being more opportunistically advantageous for the individual. But this turns out not to be the case; the priority given to one's own offspring is equally clear in humans. This is also what we should expect, if I have understood evolutionary mechanisms correctly: New evolutionary adaptations that win through do not block earlier adaptations which are still useful. On the contrary, the new adaptations will supplement or facilitate the function of those established earlier.

Parasitism exists and adoption and other raising of young by strangers exist, and can be extreme as with the cuckoo. But details and total picture of the way this works show clearly that it is precisely
not the normal case, and that it can only exist as a marginal phenomenon to a solid kernel of normal cases (other birds that do not behave in a similar way).

The leading evolutionary psychologists Martin Daly & Margo Wilson have carried out very important research throwing light on these questions (see several articles in the bibliography) and in their book
The Truth about Cinderella (1998, especially pp 8-17, 62-66) they give a good, easy-to-read description of this mechanism and its results for parental behaviour. This reasoning shows us why parents are like the red-backed sandpiper ('myrsnipen') in the Norwegian fairy tale: Everyone thinks most highly of their own children.

3. Long-term relationship between partners has less support from nature

The relationship between spouses/partners is of a different kind (Daly & Wilson 1983). Close kinship between parents leads to lower fertility and reduced chance of survival for the offspring. It is apparently so genetically unfavourable that complex species have evolved mechanisms of avoidance of in-breeding. Avoidance of incest both between parents/children and between siblings is found in many species of mammals, such as rhesus monkeys, mice, prairie dogs. Studies of human children raised idealistically as if they were brothers and sisters in Israeli kibbutzes have shown that they have not entered into sexual partnership with each other and among several thousand married adults there was not a single marriage between partners who had been raised together. In a special form of marriage on Taiwan, the wedding is held while the partners-to-be are small children. Such spouses have as adults reported more sexual difficulties, more adultery, more divorces and fewer children than average (ibid, pp 304-07: "Incest and exogamous marriage rules"). When children come close to puberty, they tend first to become uninterested in play-mates of the opposite sex, and later, when they develop sexual interest, it is more often directed not towards the play-mates they knew from childhood but towards strangers, who are felt to be exciting precisely because they are strangers.

Pair-relationships, therefore, do precisely not have kinship ties as support, and in addition to feelings of love (which parent-child relationships also have) they therefore tend to need both sex, adjustment and habit, presence rather than absence, children who have both partners as parents and whom both parents love, practical advantages and societal sanctions in order to survive over time. Under primitive conditions, human children need more than one parent to manage care-giving and socialisation over many years. In today's situation in well-heeled countries, the state contributes benefits that make it possible for a single parent to manage and to care for the children after all, although not as easily as two. The practical possibility of functioning as a single parent means greater potential freedom for partners to choose whether to remain together or not. The result of this freedom, in the shape of broken marriages and other broken pair-relationships, reflects fairly directly how much less common interest there is between partners than between parents and their children.

4. Family versus other constellations

The above argument gives an evolutionary-genetic explanation of why it is that parents feel they must have their children with them, close to, and why children feel they must be with their own parents and seek to be near them when the world outside is uncertain, threatening, painful or difficult. Nor do I know of any other reasonable explanation of this behaviour in the research literature. If children and parents did not by instinct seek each other and stick together, the parents could not give care and protection in the practical situations where it is needed and the children could not receive it. The children would then be far more exposed to the dangers of this world. Giving priority to family solidarity as a matter of course is therefore perfectly rational behaviour and contributes, from an evolutionary perspective, to the fitness of the family line.

This does not imply that family relationships are always idyllic. Some fail, and there is plenty of dissension and discord and plenty of problems. A household is a community which needs to fulfil several functions for its members. If not carried out by close relatives, who feel a nature-based love and solidarity, piety and responsiveness towards each other, these functions must be carried out by other constellations of persons. In that case the problems and conflicts and maladjustments and hatreds that arise are more comprehensive, more frequent and more difficult to overcome, and the number of such constellations which break down is correspondingly higher. This is serious for children, who most need a community which functions. Conflicts, violence and abuse is stongly over-represented in orphanages/children's homes and foster homes wherever they have been investigated in reliable research and brought into daylight (the authorities in all countries, including Norway, have a tendency to hide such facts to the best of their ability).

Daly and Wilson's own research about child abuse (documented in several articles in addition to the book from 1998 mentioned above) is about step-children and shows up to several dozen times higher incidence in step-families than in families with both biological parents – and also a higher incidence than in one-parent families. The investigated cases are cases of known perpetrators and the person who causes the high incidence is the step-parent. The over-representation of abuse inflicted by step-parents compared to abuse inflicted by biological parents is greater the more serious the abuse, and especially where the abuse has resulted in the death of the child, which are also the cases that are most reliably reported and the least easy to explain away. Step-parents who inflict abuse or who kill, use more painful methods than biological parents who do the same. Other variables such as generally violent behaviour, the age of the children and adults involved, sex, education, family size, economic conditions etc have been controlled for in the research.

All research reports about the raising of children in orphanages and foster homes tell the same story of how it is felt by the child and what the result is like: Most foster children get restless, they long for home and go back to their parents as soon as they are free, they become bitter and often asocial, the raising/training from strangers is rejected because the children know that the discipliners are not people who love them from the depth of their heart, but persons who hold them for other reasons and quite often by force. The result: Foster children in frightening numbers are recorded with up to many times as frequent illness, both physical and mental; disability; early death, among other things through suicide; very poor education; unemployment; severed pair-relations; criminal record; alchohol and drug abuse.

From Sweden comes Vinnerljung's book (1996), which is a very well known and respected study. A couple of quotes from it:

"But one of the basic problems of public child ward is that it has difficulties establishing permanency, both 'objectively' ..... and as a perceived situation for the foster children." (p 90);

"All studies show similar or poorer results for foster children when compared to children from risk groups etc living at home. .... In sum: some variations are found but nobody has found that foster children do better." (p 78).

Vinnerljung works in the social services and did not like the results his own research showed. He has later tried to write it off by attributing the negative results to the different time periods: something like "... everything is much better now, with new methods", but nothing points to his original dissertation being outdated. Unfortunately.

The Danish Socialforskningsinstituttet ('Instute for Social Research', a state-run institution) points to similar facts (Egelund and Hestbæk 2003 and 2004).

The Canadian school teacher Kropp mentions (1998:137), in connection with child abduction, that out of the 51,973 children reported as disappeared in Canada in 1994, 40,140 were truants and the large majority of them returned home under their own steam within 48 hours. This number may e.g be compared to foster children who escape/flee from foster homes and with where they go. Figures can be found in Jönson's
Sammanbrott i familjehem [Breakdown in foster homes] (1995), a report of research carried out for Socialstyrelsen (a government office) which investigated 189 foster home placements in Sweden. Out of these, 44% resulted in "breakdown", which means termination of the foster placement before the social services wanted it (p 26), and other, international studies which Jönson quotes have similar figures (pp 12-13). The two dominant factors are that the foster home cannot manage the child (35%), and that the child flees, refuses to return, moves home to its biological family (35%). In 8% of cases the factor triggering the breakdown was physical abuse/sex-abuse of the foster child in the foster home and other negative circumstances there (p 42). Placement of the foster child with relatives resulted in 26% breakdowns, with non-relatives in 47% breakdowns (p 35).

Flinn & England's study (1995) from the Caribbean islands shows strongly elevated stress (physiologically recorded) in children who do not either live with both biological parents or with their mother and maternal grandmother (a usual household form in the West Indies).

Herman, Sussen & Struening (1994) have studied depression among adult homeless people in New York. Among those who have lived in foster homes or institutions as children, there are significantly more who report that they are depressed when the homelessness is counted as a stress factor, than among those who grew up in their own family.

When Geir Levi Nilsen writes off the value of the family by taking conflicts in the Orderud family (a family in which triple murder occurred - known in Norway through a well-publicised criminal court case), his reasoning is out of focus, in my view. Single occurrences of family conflict and family dissolution must be compared to the alternatives generally: Other forms of community yield as a prediction less solidarity, less trustworthiness and stability for children, and less experience of devotion between the children and the grown-ups. Hermit life gives none at all. A few adults are able to live alone nearly out in the wilderness and to some extent live off the land (although in a country like Norway with its long, cold winters it is necessary with a considerable contribution fetched from society). But children cannot manage on their own. The biological family is no arbitrary, social construction. Other forms of community constellations come closer to being so.

5. Family regained

In one particular Strømøy programme we saw a teen-age boy who did not experience his meeting with his biological mother as positive. It can happen that reunions go this way and taking the boy's age (about 16) into account, it did not seem unnatural: our instincts and feelings are tendencies, not absolute reflexes. Other Tore-on-the-track programmes have ended quite differently, e.g with adult adopteds who have themselves searched for their parents and other relatives, and have been more than glad to find them.

We find just the same in the long series of stories, books, programmes and articles about Argentinian children whose parents were killed by the junta and who were adopted into rich junta families, as well as those about East German children whose parents had to flee and who were adopted into politically correct DDR families. Reunited Germany has made a determined effort to facilitate reunion and this has in most cases been wanted by both children and parents. The "grandmothers on the Plaza de Mayo" started the work in The Argentine.

Some of all the reunions taking place outside of the limelight are, like the one in a particular Tore-on-the-track programme, disappointing or the participants are indifferent. However, the overwhelming fact is the mass of cases in which both children and parents want the reunion, having thought about each other and longed for each other and made up fantasies about each other even if they have never been together before. Equally characteristic is the way in which they experience a joy and a nearness which is not limited to those individuals who have searched most actively but is also felt by those who have been searhed for and found. We find similar results in cases of children who have been kept away from one parent by the other parent. The child is not infrequently heavily influenced against the absent parent in what is called a "parental alienation" process. Why is this done if not because the child would otherwise be difficult to keep away from the absent parent? Where no enemy-picture of the absent parent is instilled into the child, the child can feel a deep sorrow over having no contact with the absent one, irrespective of reason. What Nilsen believes, i.e that the relative who is searhed for is normally uninterested in this or uninterested in his searching relatives, is simply not so.

Kin-based ties are in fact felt to be valuable by most people, especially the love between parents and their own children, this is obvious from the circumstances and phenomena I have referred to above. It comes to light both in research results, through separated family members who search for each other, as in the examples from Strømøy's programmes, through the strong moves made by groups of adopteds to have adoption archives opened, which they have succeeded in achieving in many countries, and through the many thousands of adopteds who seek their parents and other relatives through the internet, where there are organised search possibilities.

6. The spirit of our age

Let me say: I agree with Geir Levi Nilsen when he says that there is more talk of biology and the importance of kinship ties nowadays than a few decades ago. I also agree that the view expressed through this: that biological bonds are different from others, stands in contrast to behavioristic ideas of the solitary importance of milieu and environment.

But I think differently from Nilsen regarding the reason for this. I do not believe it to be due to an accidental, worthless or unintelligible fad – something like a fashion in pop music or world view. I believe it has started because of what has gone before.

The naturalness of biological bonds has come under heavy attack from mechanistic, quite primitive environment-as-cause determinism, which has in fact won through as a belief in wide circles of the population. Such a view has been quite current in academic circles, especially in the social sciences, in early periods of the twentieth century and before that too, but it gained momentum especially from the 1960s onward, hand in hand with a gigantic expansion in the education of social workers and psychologists. The historian Knut Berg (1991) gives a clear picture of an instance of this and its results.

What happens then is that people with more of a belief in biological explanations try to defend the sound parts of "biologism" but often do it in a rather helpless way. It has always been so self-evident that the relation parents-children is especially valuable, so that one has not had to find out why. Our Norwegian parliament is a clear case in point. In previous and existing legislation and documents preparing for legislation we find a formulation: "It is of special value for children to grow up with their own parents." But I do not believe a single parliamentary representative can defend this by explaining why. Neither have they shown any interest in finding out. The result is that new legislation being prepared now in 2012 will take away altogether the position of the biological family: No feelings are said to give priority to living with its parents if the state can "offer" the child better circumstances by "placing" it with other "care-givers". This is intentional on the part of government and parliament, they have had a panel of exactly the wrong types of people preparing it for a year or so.

The value of nature-given bonds, then, is under pressure from socio-psychological groups making a living from constructing "families" for children and all sorts of "activities" to "further their development" and create "relations" between the children and everyone else in these artificial groups. And one should not forget: They make a living by constructing bizarre explanations of why all the socio-psychological "work" they do with children does not function as their theories predict. It is a good thing – and high time – that families begin to raise their voices against these "child expert" cadres and their failed speculations and philosophies. People who understand what the importance is, for children and through them for society, of the family as a unit with a natural basis which supports and aids it through difficulties, will surely gain in knowledge and understanding by and by and make their voices heard more strongly. Hopefully, that will put a stop to the billions spent on ever more quasi-research about the importance of the "milieu" and children's "attachment", and even more billions spent on "working" with children whom the milieu-determinist enthusiasts have robbed of their own families.

7. Adoption

The starting point of Nilsen's article is a case which concerns adoption. He is in a large (although not altogether good, I think) company: The majority in our society have an idyllised idea of adoption. One focuses on all possible difficulties which are usual between children and their biological parents but is not alert to both similar and more special difficulties in adoptive families.

In the period 1998-2001 I spent especially much time searching in research literature about adoption, because I was engaged as an expert witness to present in court scientific literature of relevance in the court case in which the Norwegian authorities, despite the verdict against them at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, adopted away by force Adele Johansen's daughter Signe Malene (cf Sjöberg (2002) and The European Court of Human Rights (1996)).

What is studied and written by socio-psychological circles concerned with adoption is largely characterised by wishful thinking, poor theoretical basis, and a lack of properly conducted studies and empirical support. The realistic, scientific literature was not difficult to find, however, and it brought out quite a different panorama-like reality. Again, some of the most revealing facts stem from statistics based on reliable investigations done with proper test design, comparison groups and control of other variables.

Most children who are adopted, go to families who are, socially and economically speaking, considerably above average, and adoptive parents have been subject to evaluation of their motives, their functioning personally and socially, their mental-psychological stability and their general suitability. Many adoptive children have been adopted away or taken away at birth and have no previous experiences or memories about their own parents. In spite of all this, there is an elevated frequency of experienced problems in adoptive families, both for the adopted children and for their adoptive parents, and both within emotional and practical areas. Let me take up just a few studies.

A large study by Miller et al (2000) shows that, whereas the deviations from the mean regarding functioning/maladjustment are small on average between adopteds and the general population, this conceals more extreme deviations in both directions among adopteds: They fall into two large, separate groups: those who function very well and those who function very poorly. All in all there are more problems of all types among adopteds. A large meta-analysis (survey and comparison of several other studies) by Wierzbicki (1993) shows the same.

Several studies reveal that adopted children leave home as young adults at an earlier age than do biological children, and that a percentage of adoptions are annulled by adoptive parents who regret the adoption (in some countries this possible to do legally), or the children are given up by the adoptive parents for new adoption carried out by the social services.

In families with much internal strife, biological parents may solve the problems by divorce, while among adoptive parents there is a tendency to solve the problems by sending the adopted child back to the social services.

Adoptive families are far more frequently clients of psychiatric establishments than the normal population and adopteds are over-represented in psychiatric hospitals (
Adoption and Healing (1997:21)). Cohen, Coyne & Duvall (1993) have understood that there are special problems in connection with being adopted and having adopted children, and they offer (1994) altogether special psychological treatment for adoptive families. But neither Cohen et al nor the vast majority of all those who carry out research, administration or therapeutic treatment in this field manage to open their eyes to the fact that searching for causes and blame in the personal characteristics of adopted children, or in the conditions pertaining before the adoption, is nearly meaningless. Clear speech has come from a different quarter: from adopteds, their biological families and their adopted families: The difficulties are due to the adoption itself, to being adopted, to having adopted children. I will especially point to some developments in Australia, New Zealand and Canada (cf Griffith (1991), Robinson (2000) and Adoption and Healing (1997)). In other places too groups have formed who are against all adoption outside of the extended biological family. These groups of people let their voices be heard on the internet.

The foreword to
Adoption and Healing describes how biological parents (mainly mothers), adoptive parents and adopted children have joined to get through with information, to have the legislation changed and have at least some of the worst sides of adoption done away with. The book describes in an informative way how the families are having to teach the social workers, the psychologists and the adoption authorities, who all should in theory be experts and know, but in reality are not and do not.



Adoption and Healing (1997). Proceedings of The international conference on Adoption and Healing, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, 1997
Wellington: New Zealand Adoption Education and Healing Trust. ISBN 0-473-04733-0

Jon Knut Berg (1991): "Sosialomsorgens brustne illusjoner" [The broken illusions of social ward] in Anne-Hilde Nagel (red):
Velferdskommunen. Kommunenes rolle i utviklingen av velferdsstaten [The welfare municipality. The role of municipalities in the development of the welfare state]
Bergen, Norway: Alma Mater. ISBN 82-419-0077-5

Nancy J. Cohen, James Coyne & James Duvall (1993): "Adopted and Biological Children in the Clinic: Family, Parental and Child Characteristics",
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Vol 34 No 4

Nancy J. Cohen, James Duvall, James C. Coyne (1994):
Mental Health Service Needs of Post-adoptive Families
Newmarket, Ontario: Children's Aid Society in York Region

Martin Daly & Margo Wilson (1983):
Sex, Evolution and Behavior (2nd edition)
Belmont, California: Wadsworth. ISBN 0-87150-767-6

-  (1985): "Child Abuse and Other Risks of Not Living with Both Parents",
Ethology and Sociobiology 6.
New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co Inc

-  (1988): "Evolutionary Social Psychology and Family Homicide", Science, 28. October 1988, vol 242. American Association for the Advancement of Science)

-  (1991): "A Reply to Gelles: Stepchildren
are disproportionately abused, and diverse forms of violence can share causal factors", Human Nature Vol 2 no 4.
New York: Walter de Gruyter Inc

-  (1994): "Evolutionary psychology of male violence", John Archer (ed):
Male Violence.
London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-08962-X

-  (1994): "Some Differential Attributes of Lethal Assaults on Small Children by Stepfathers versus Genetic Fathers",
Ethology and Sociobiology 15.
New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co Inc

-  (1994/1995): "Discriminative Parental Solicitude and the Relevance of Evolutionary Models to the Analysis of Motivational Systems", Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed):
The Cognitive Neurosciences. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press

-  (1996): "Violence Against Stepchildren",
Current Directions in Psychological Science 1996:5. American Psychological Society

- (1998):
The Truth about Cinderella. A Darwinian view of Parental Love
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-84161-0

- (1999): "Human evolutionary psychology and animal behaviour",
Animal Behaviour, 1999, 57,3

Tine Egelund, Anne-Dorthe Hestbæk (2003):
Anbringelse af børn og unge uden for hjemmet. En forskningsoversigt [Placement of children and youths outside of the home. A research survey]
Copenhagen: Socialforskningsinstituttet. ISBN 87-7487-714-3

Tine Egelund, Anne-Dorthe Hestbæk (2004):
Små børn anbragt uden for hjemmet. En forløbsundersøgelse af anbragte børn født i 1995 [Small children placed outside of the home. An investigation of the development through the placement of placed children born in 1995]
Copenhagen: Socialforskningsinstituttet. ISBN 87-7487-761-5

The European Court of Human Rights (1996):
Case of Johansen v. Norway
(Also on the website of the Court: http://www.echr.coe.int/echr)

Mark V. Flinn & Barry G. England (1995): "Childhood Stress and Family Environment" in
Current Anthropology, Vol 36 No 5, December 1995

Keith C. Griffith (1991):
The right to know who you are. Reform of Adoption Law with Honesty, Openness and Integrity
Penetanguishene, Ont, Canada: Invercauld Books & Publications. ISBN 0-9695151-0-3

Daniel B. Herman, Ezra S. Susser, Elmer L. Struening (1994): "Childhood Out-of-Home Care and Current Depressive Symptoms among Homeless Adults" in
American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) vol 84, no 11, November 1994

Håkan Jönson (1995):
Sammanbrott i familjehem [Collapse in foster home placement]
Stockholm; Socialstyrelsen. ISBN 91-7201-021-5

Paul Kropp (1998):
I'll Be the Parent, You Be the Kid. The Hot Button Topics in Parenting
Toronto: Random House of Canada. ISBN 0-679-30920-9

Brent C. Miller, Xitao Fan, Mathew Christensen, Harold D. Grotevant, Manfred van Dulmen (2000): "Comparisons of Adopted and Nonadopted Adolescents in a Large, Nationally Representative Sample",
Child Development 71,5

Reuben Pannor, Annette Baran, Arthur D. Sorosky (1978): "Birth Parents Who Relinquished Babies for Adoption Revisited",
Family Process 17

Evelyn Burns Robinson (2000):
Adoption and Loss. The Hidden Grief
Christies Beach, South Australia: Clova Publications. ISBN 1-74053-000-4

Lennart Sjöberg (2002): "Adele Johansen vs Norway: A mother fighting for her child"

Bo Vinnerljung (1996):
Fosterbarn som vuxna [Foster children as adults], Lund Studies in Social Welfare XIII
Lund: Arkiv förlag. ISBN 91-7924-091-7

Michael Wierzbicki (1993): "Psychological Adjustment of Adoptees: A Meta-Analysis",
Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 22,4