Children living in institutions of bad conditions are often neglected, and some even abused. Our current knowledge on the phenomena institutionalized children is that these children suffer a high risk of developing some kind of long term sequelae.The object of this paper is to review some of the existing literature and studies on the outcomes of children having suffered institutionalization and deprivation on one or several areas. Children adopted from Romania have, in most cases, suffered severe global privation. The many studies of these children have made important contributions to our knowledge of the factors influencing normal development in infancy. Bad physical health is common amongst children living in institutions. Intestinal parasites, hepatitis B, growth retardation and hearing loss due to middle ear infections are common findings. In addition, many children are found to have severe delays on multiple domains, for instance motor and language delays. Variants of specific conditions such as attention deficit and hyperactivity, attachment disorders and quasi-autistic features are not uncommon in these children. Cognitive deficits is another problem. Even in those children adopted and thus removed from the negatively influencing environment, some deficits tend to persist, especially in those adopted later in infancy. Several findings make it likely that these persisting difficulties may be due to some biological damage caused by the global privation experienced by these children.Amongst the findings are reduced functioning of several areas of the brain, hormonal disturbances and reduced brain volumes. It is likely that prolonged exposure to stress may be the cause of some of these changes.The findings up to date are quite consistent in stressing the importance of early intervention to avoid the potentially grave consequences of institutional rearing, and in pointing at adoption as an important means of intervention. This is important, as in some countries placing children in institutions is considered to be for the children´s best. Knowledge about the origin of these problems is also essential for adoptive parents to understand the difficulities their children are struggling with.