Giving away ‘Anatoly Z.’ - Yahoo News: The twin landmines of adoption are fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and reactive attachment disorder. The first, FASD, is rooted in a birth mother’s use of alcohol during pregnancy, affecting the physical map of the brain; on a PET scan this presents as smooth surface where the folds that regulate impulsivity, reason and learning should be. The second, RAD, is a result of early neglect, withering a child’s ability to form attachments. It is most often seen in foreign adoptions from countries where orphanage life means spending most of the day in a spare crib with little to no human interaction, but it is also found in domestic adoptions of older children from American foster care.
When experts talk about attachment issues, they stress three things. First, the worst symptoms affect a very small percentage of adoptees, and second, that is still a lot of children.