Browsing by Author "Costiander, Kati"

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  • Costiander, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the conceptions adoptive parents and kindergarten teachers have of adopted children in day care. Earlier Finnish research concerning international adoption has discussed adoption, adopted children and adoptive parents from the point of view of identity, racism and school. There has hardly been any research in Finland concerning adoption from the point of view of day care. The study focuses on how the special characteristics of adopted children are taken into consideration in day care. The ecological theory, in which a child's growth and learning environments are studied as part of the broader environment, provided the theoretical framework for the study. The study was based also on a second theory: intercultural competence or the capacity to interact with different people taking into consideration their individual characteristics and situations so that one understands and is understood. The first research problem consisted of describing the conceptions adoptive parents and day care teachers have of the special characteristics of adopted children. The second research problem was to examine adopted parents' expectations of kindergarten and of kindergarten teachers. The third research problem was to find out what kind of support day care teachers think they need when working with adopted children. The study focused on 20 adoptive parents and 15 kindergarten teachers. Research material was collected in the form of essay writings amounting to a total of 73 pages. The respondents wrote about their experiences with the help of a supporting questionnaire. The research method was qualitative and narrative. The results of the study show that adoptive parents have similar conceptions of adopted children's special characteristics concerning their character, social competence, adaptation and appearance. Adoptive parents had a better understanding of the dynamics of attachment than kindergarten teachers, in this study. When describing the special characters of adopted children, the teachers regarded adopted children in particular as needing special support. According to the results of the study, adoptive parents feel adoption matters and adoptive parenthood are something quite new and bewildering to day care teachers. Adoptive parents did not feel they got any support from the kindergarten in their parenthood. Adoptive parents regarded as particularly important the start of day care and the familiarisation process during which adopted children need time and special support due to earlier experiences of separation and abandonment. The findings of the study show that kindergarten teachers have little knowledge of adoption and the significance of adoption for a child's growth and development. Kindergarten teachers felt at a loss in dealing with adoption issues and clearly need additional support in the matter.