Kin Adopting Kin: In the Best Interest of the Children?

Scott D. Ryan, University of Texas at Arlington
James Hinterlong, Virginia Commonwealth University
Rebecca L. Hegar, University of Texas at Arlington
Lisa B. Johnson, Kennesaw State University


Foster children in the public child welfare system are increasingly likely to find lasting homes through kinship adoption by their relatives. The aim of the present study is to examine how the kinship adoptive experience differs from other adoptive types. Using tobit regression analyses, we examine data from 2382 adopted children (kin placements = 397 and non-kin placements = 1985). We report that kin adoptive parents more negatively assessed adoption's impact on their family and the family's current functioning. However, the family bond with the adoptee also appears to influence positively a kin family's willingness to adopt the same child again, to be generally satisfied with the overall adoption, and to report a positive relationship with the adopted child. Kinship adoptions appear more readily to produce positive outcomes and permanent placements.