A-Z Glossary

Many adoption, foster care and child welfare vocabulary are subject to interpretation. This glossary identifies commonly held definitions for terminology that can be found in the field. It defines common acronyms and provides comprehensive definitions for a broad range of terms. The glossary will be updated as new terminology emerges in the field and as new legislation is enacted.

A-Z Glossary – Choose a Letter

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There are 19 names in this directory beginning with the letter R.
RAD
Acronym for Reactive Attachment Disorder is a mental health disorder in which a child is unable to form healthy social relationships, particularly with a primary caregiver. Often children with RAD will seem charming and helpless to outsiders, while exhibiting disturbing and challenging behaviors within the family. RAD is frequently seen in children who have had inconsistent or abusive care in early childhood, including children adopted from orphanages or foster care. It is a condition with onset before age 5, and often not identified until the child is older, resulting from an early lack of consistent care, characterized by a child’s or infant’s inability to make appropriate social contact with others. Symptoms may include failure to thrive, developmental delays, failure to make eye contact, feeding disturbances, hyper-sensitivity to touch and sound, failure to initiate or respond to social interaction, indiscriminate sociability, self-stimulation and susceptibility to infection.

Re-Adoption
Process by where international adoptive parents adopt their children for a second time in front of a U.S. judge.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
A mental health disorder in which a child is unable to form healthy social relationships, particularly with a primary caregiver. Often children with RAD will seem charming and helpless to outsiders, while exhibiting disturbing and challenging behaviors within the family. RAD is frequently seen in children who have had inconsistent or abusive care in early childhood, including children adopted from orphanages or foster care. It is a condition with onset before age 5, and often not identified until the child is older, resulting from an early lack of consistent care, characterized by a child’s or infant’s inability to make appropriate social contact with others. Symptoms may include failure to thrive, developmental delays, failure to make eye contact, feeding disturbances, hyper-sensitivity to touch and sound, failure to initiate or respond to social interaction, indiscriminate sociability, self-stimulation and susceptibility to infection.

Receiving Country
The country into which a foreign born and adopted child will take citizenship and residence.

Redacted
A term used when a document has had personal (or identifying information) deleted or blacked out; as a consequence, redacted is often used to describe documents from which sensitive information has been expunged.

Referral
When an agency matches what they know about the adoptive parents with what they have learned about a child from a hospital, orphanage and/or the caregivers. Referrals usually have the name and birth date of the child, a photo in an international adoption situation, and some medical information. The quantity/quality of information varies from just a few vital statistics to a full battery of laboratory test results. The prospective parents have a specific amount of time after a referral is made to decide whether to accept or decline the referra

Relinquishment of Parental Rights
Legal act by which birth parents consent to an adoption and give up all legal rights to a child so an adoption can take place.

Residential Care Facility
A structured 24-hour care facility with staff that provide psychological services to help severely troubled children overcome behavioral, emotional, mental or psychological problems that adversely affect family interaction, school achievement and peer relationships.

Residential Treatment
Therapeutic intervention processes for individuals who cannot or do not function satisfactorily in their own homes. For children and adolescents, residential treatment tends to be the last resort when a child is in danger of hurting himself or others.

Respite Care
Temporary or short-term home care of a child provided for pay or on a voluntary basis by adults other than the parents (birth, foster or adoptive parents).

Reunification
The returning of foster children to the custody of their parent(s) after placement outside the home.

Reunification Services
Interventions by social worker and other professionals to help children and their birth parents develop mutually reciprocal relationships that will help them to live together again as a family.

Reunion
A meeting between birth parent(s) and an adopted adult or between an adopted adult and other birth relatives. The adopted adult may have been placed as an infant and thus has no memory of the birth parent(s).

Review Hearings
Held by the juvenile and family court to review dispositions (usually every six months) and to determine the need to maintain placement in out-of-home care or court jurisdiction of a child.

Revocation of Consent Agreements
According to some state statutes, birth parents or legal guardians are permitted to revoke their consent to adoptive placements prior to the finalization of petitions to adopt. The period of revocation varies according to state guidelines, and could extend from a matter of hours to the finalization decree. Some states do not recognize a period of revocation; thus, consent agreements are irrevocable upon acceptance by the courts.

Revoke
Take back consent to an adoption. Some states offer no time for revocation while other states place a time limit.

Risk Assessment
To assess and measure the likelihood that a child will be maltreated in the future, frequently through the use of checklists, matrices, scales and other methods of measurement.

Risk Factors
Behaviors and conditions present in the child, parent or family that will likely contribute to child maltreatment occurring in the future.

Ritalin
A commonly prescribed drug that can help to control some of the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. It may have a calming effect and help to improve concentration.


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