If the child has not developed a healthy attachment during the critical first five years of life, then it has been conclusively shown that the child will suffer from irreversible developmental consequences, such as reduced intelligence and increased aggression. The condition known as "Reactive Attachment Disorder" will most likely result. This condition comes in two forms, one which causes indiscriminate and dangerous relationshiops and one which prevents any relationships at all.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of healthy attachment and bonding in child development. When birth parents are unable or unwilling to provide a secure and safe attachment for their child, and others step in and do so, the child cannot be returned to the birth parents without consequences to the child. If, in fact, a birth parent does achieve the ability to provide a safe and secure home after a substantial hiatus, under the best of circumstances, intensive and long term therapy would be required for the child.
It is a recognized goal of the law to provide permanency for children. This simply means that their legal status has been established and under ordinary circumstances cannot be altered. Permanency makes a child secure and safe.