According to the chartbook Adoption USA, adopted children are more likely than the general population of children to be diagnosed with depression, ADD or ADHD, or a behavior or conduct disorder. Data reported in this chartbook were collected and compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2007.
Twenty-six percent of adopted children over the age of six have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Of the general population, only 10 percent of children over the age of six have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. The diagnoses for ADD or ADHD increase if a child has been adopted out of foster care, at 38 percent. The percentage of children adopted domestically from private agencies and international agencies with ADD or ADHD are 19 and 17 percent, respectively.
ADD and ADHD are not adoption-related disorders, but they can be difficult to deal with as parents. The can affect the way a child learns and engages with other people, which may be affected by other adoption-related disorders, such as an attachment disorder. These disorders require medical attention and, sometimes, therapy or coaching. Meanwhile, parents may want other adoptive parents' advice on how to handle ADHD. One of the best support groups is on the web, where parents and professionals alike can discuss ADHD issues in an ADHD forum.
Not all children adopted from foster care will be diagnosed with ADHD and not all children will be hyperactive. The disorders depend greatly on the kind of environment the child was in before he or she was adopted.