Publication Details

de Rosnay, M., Luu, B. & Wright, A. C. (2016). Young children's identity formation in the context of open adoption in NSW: Summary and key findings. Sydney: University of Sydney.


A review into how open adoption can support developmental outcomes and establish healthy identity formation of children was commissioned by Barnardos Australia. The focus is on children who are up to 5 years of age in out-of-home care (OOHC) for whom there is no realistic chance of restoration to their birth family or kinship care. The options facing such children, according to recent amendments in late 2014 to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, are either for adoption or parental responsibility of the Minister (i.e., foster care) until they are 18 years of age. Healthy identity formation refers to a number of related constructs, including the child's: acceptance of and positive regard for him/herself (self-esteem, self-concept); feeling of belonging to a family; sense of having a biological or genealogical identity; and sense of having an identity as an effective, independent person.