Performance Improvement 2011-2012. How Does the Health and Well-Being of Adopted Children Compare to the General Population of Children and are There Differences by Adoption Type?

01/01/2012

Adoption USA presents findings from the first nationally representative survey of adoptive parents in the United States. About two percent of U.S. children joined their families through adoption. The Chartbook describes the characteristics, adoption experiences, and well-being of these children and their families, making comparisons between adopted children and the general population of children in the U.S. and among children adopted through different adoption types.

Of the 1.8 million adopted children in the U.S., 37 percent were adopted from foster care, 38 percent joined their families through private domestic adoptions, and 25 percent were adopted internationally. Nearly one-quarter of adopted children were adopted by relatives. Just over one-third of children in non-relative adoptions had post-adoption contact with their birth families. Most adopted children (85 percent) are in excellent or very good health, however, they are twice as likely as children in the general population to have special health care needs (39 percent compared with 19 percent). The majority of adopted children also fare well according to measures of social and emotional well-being. However, 26 percent of adopted children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) at some point during childhood, and 15 percent have been diagnosed with behavior or conduct problems. Children adopted from foster care were most likely to have these conditions. Parents of 86 percent of adopted children report that their relationship with their child met or exceeded their expectations. However, parents of 11 percent of adopted children report parental aggravation, compared with 6 percent in the general population.

Report Title: Adoption USA: A Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/09/NSAP/chartbook/index.cfm
Agency Sponsor: OASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Laura Radel, 202-690-5938
Performer: Child Trends, Inc.
Record ID: 9199 (Report issued November 20, 2009)

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