Adoption USA. A Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents. Adoption satisfaction

11/01/2009

To examine adoption satisfaction, this section reports on three measures: whether parentswould make the same decision to adopt their child again, whether parents considereddissolving the adoption, and parental perceptions of their child’s feelings about being adopted. See Appendix Table 12 on page 72 for detailed data on each indicator.

Very few adopted children (3 percent) haveparents who say that they “probably would not” or “definitely would not” make the same decision to adopt their child. In fact, 87 percent of adopted children have parents who said they would “definitely” make the same decision. This percentage varies somewhat by adoption type with 93 percent of privately adopted U.S. children, 87 percent of internationally adopted children, and 81 percent of children adopted from foster care having parents who expressed this opinion;i see Figure 29.

Figure 29. Percentage of adopted children according to whether their parents would make the same decision to adopt again, by adoption type

Figure 29. Percentage of adopted children according to whether their parents would make the same decision to adopt again, by adoption type

Note: Values corresponding to unreliable percentage estimates have been suppressed in this figure.

Very few adopted children have parents who reported ever having considered dissolving the adoption. The number of children whose parents reported ever considering dissolution was too small to generate reliable estimates of its frequency. It should be noted, however, that families in which the child’s adoption has been legally dissolved do not appear in the survey sample. Furthermore, parents were only asked this question if they had reported the adoption had negatively affected their family or that they would definitely or probably not have accepted the child, knowing everything they now know about the child.

The vast majority of adopted children have parents who reported that their child feels positive about their adoption. More than nine out of ten adopted children ages 5 and older (92 percent) have “positive” or “mostly positive” feelings about their adoption, according to their parents.30 This is true regardless of adoption type and regardless of the child's age; overall, 49 percent of adopted children were reported as having positive feelings and 43 percent were reported as having mostly positive feelings about their adoption.

 

MEASURES OF ADOPTION SATISFACTION

Parents would make the same decision to adopt their child: Parents were asked, “If you (and your spouse/partner) knew everything about [your child] before the adoption that you now know, how might that have affected your decision to accept him/her for adoption?” Responses included whether the parent would have “definitely,” “probably,” “probably not,” or “definitely not” have accepted the child.

Parent considered dissolving the adoption: Parents were first asked how having their child in their life affected their family and whether they would have made the same decision to adopt the child. If they responded that the child affected their life “somewhat” or “very negatively” or that they would “probably” or “definitely not have accepted the child,” they were asked: “Have you [or your spouse/partner] ever thought about ending this adoption?” We identified parents who answered “yes,” compared with those who answered “no” or who were not asked the question due to their responses to the previous questions.

Parents’ perceptions of the child’s feelings about adoption: Parents of children at least five years old were asked, “Overall, how do you think [your child] feels about being adopted?” Responses included that the child feels “positive,” “mostly positive,” “neither positive nor negative,” “mostly negative,” or “negative” about it. Three percent of children ages 5 and older were excluded from this analysis because their parents reported that the child did not know that he or she had been adopted.

 

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