Attachment is characterized by specific behaviors in children, such as seeking proximity to the attachment figure for comfort, safety and security and to have basic needs met. These behaviors may be clinically observed and measured.
It has been conclusively shown that when children do not have secure attachments in early development, they become emotionally disturbed, which becomes clearly evident as they mature. And this condition is usually permanent, and not responsive to therapy. Many biological parents who have not been good caretakes cling to the illusion that the child will one day recognize them as being the true parents and will want to return to themn. This is almost never true.
If the child has developed a healthy attachment with a caregiver other than his or her biological parents, then to remove the child from those individuals is, in the eyes of the child, no different than removing a child from a healthy family and giving that child to strangers. And becasue children view nearly everything personally, they will tend to believe that they themselves must have done something terribly wrong. They will blame themselves and try as hard as they can to say that they are sorry, to beg to be forgiven, and to be allowed to return to their perceived parents.,