Internationally adopted infants experienced profound institutional deprivation in early infancy. Adoption may have a positive effect on child development, providing a massive catch-up growth in the developmental parameters. In this preliminary study we examined the effect of family deprivation on abandoned children placed in high quality foster care during infancy. We also investigated the presence of a growth delay in Italian domestic adoptees at the time of family placement and the potential physical recovery after adoption. Anthropometric measures (weight, length or height /head circumference) and Body Mass Index (BMI) were measured on arrival (T0) and 6 (T1), 12 (T2) and 24 months (T3) after adoption. The results show moderate delays in physical growth on the children’s arrival into the adoptive family and a significant catch-up growth in all auxological parameters from T0 to T3. This is one of few Italian studies that points out a positive change in trajectories of growth after child adoption.
- domestic adoptive families, growth delay, adopted children, catch up growth