Adoption USA. A Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents. Parents’ prior connections to adoption

11/01/2009

This section examines adoptive parents’ prior experience with adoption. See Appendix Table 14 on page 74 for detailed data.

Three out of four adopted children have parents who have some prior experience with or connection to adoption. Six percent of adopted children have a parent who was himself or herself adopted. Given that the proportion of the general child population that is adopted is 2 percent, it seems likely that adopted children are more likely to have a parent who was adopted than are children in the general population. Four percent have an aunt or uncle who was adopted, but did not have an adopted parent, an additional 31 percent have other relatives who were adopted, and an additional 35 percent have parents with friends who have adopted. Twenty-four percent of adopted children have parents who reported no prior connection to adoption; see Figure 33.

Among adopted children, those adopted internationally were the most likely to have a parent with some prior personal connection to adoption, whereas those adopted privately from the United States were the least likely. Specifically, 10 percent of children adopted internationally have a parent with no prior connection to adoption compared with 33 percent of those adopted privately from within the United States. Compared to other adopted children, those adopted internationally are particularly likely to have a parent who had friends who had adopted; see Figure 34.

Figure 33. Percentage distribution of adopted children by parents’ prior connection to adoption

Figure 33. Percentage distribution of adopted children by parents’ prior connection to adoption

Figure 34. Percentage distribution of adopted children by parents’ prior connection to adoption, by adoption type

Figure 34. Percentage distribution of adopted children by parents’ prior connection to adoption, by adoption type

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

 

MEASURES OF PARENTS’ PRIOR CONNECTIONS TO ADOPTION

We identified parents’ prior connections to adoption by examining their responses to a series of questions. First, we identified adopted children whose parent reported that either they or their spouse or partner (if they had one) had been adopted as a child. Among those adopted children who did not have a parent who had been adopted, we next identified those who had an aunt or uncle who had been adopted, based on their parent’s responses to the question, “Do you [or your spouse/partner] have siblings who were adopted?” To identify whether any of the remaining adopted children had any other relatives who had been adopted, we looked at parental responses to the question, “Do any of your [or your spouse’s/partner’s] relatives have adopted children?” Next, for all adopted children who had no parents or relatives who had been adopted, we identified those whose parent reported having “friends or close acquaintances” with adopted children. We assumed that if parents answered “no” to all the prior questions, children’s parents had no prior connection to adoption.

 

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