There is good news regarding minimizing complications of Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome, and surprisingly, they are remarkably doable
for adoptive parents, yet probably impossible without a stable,
loving family environment. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a huge
concern for adoptive parents in Eastern Europe. Studies show that
there are means to minimizing the negative consequences of FAS.
Protective Factors Against Disabilities Secondary to FASD:The
Streissguth et al. (1996) study, conducted in Washington State
with children experiencing what was then termed FAS and FAE, led
to the identification of a set of specific "universal" protective
factors for children experiencing fetal alcohol exposure. More
research is needed to support these findings, however, these
results suggest that social workers do have means of intervening
to ameliorate the negative consequences associated with FASD.
The identified protective factors that will minimize and help
avoid secondary complications include:
1. Living in a stable and nurturing home-for at least 72% of a
2. Being accurately diagnosed before the age of 6 years;
3. Never having been the victim of violence;
4. Relative stability, described as remaining in the same living
situation for morethan 2.8 years;
5. Experiencing a "good quality" home between the ages of 8-12
6. Having applied for, been found eligible for, entering into,
and receiving Divisionof Developmental Disabilities Services;
7. Having a diagnosis of FAS rather than other effects of alcohol
exposure-Note that receiving a diagnosis of FAS confers
eligibility for early intervention services in many communities,
while other alcohol-related diagnoses often do not confer such
8. Having basic needs met for at least 13% of life.
If you or someone you love, want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, Adoption Services
International can help.