Project Title

Maternal Choices and Outcomes in International Adoption

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Nicole G. Martin

Disciplines

Developmental Psychology

Abstract (300 words maximum)

As intercountry adoptions rose and then fell, parents made numerous choices as to where to adopt from, the demographics of the child they wanted to adopt, and more. The present study describes the maternal perspective of the choices families made to build their families through international adoption. In selecting a program, couples are choosing a country’s program that accepts their demographics and are also selecting a program that has children that fit the criteria in which they seek. We explored the choices a sample of international adoptive mothers made and how these choices ultimately shaped their families. Following the adoptions of 473 first-time intercountry adoptive mothers, this survey tracked their experience before traveling to adopt and one year after completion of the adoption. Most families chose to adopt children from ethnicities different than their own (84%) and chose based on the sex of the child (52.7%). They brought home children around two years of age at the time of adoption (M = 21.54, s = 23.42), however there was a wide range of ages chosen. Families that experienced low level of negative feedback prior to adopting internationally reported higher satisfaction a year after the adoption (F = 19.55, p < 0.001). The majority of the mothers had no regrets regarding the adoption a year after it was completed (71.3%), however the reasons some reported regret included not being in better financial shape beforehand (5.2%), adopting that particular child (4.8%), adopting an older child (3.5%), and adopting at all (3.5%). This study outlined the choices families made in their pursuit of international adoption and the outcomes that followed these choices.

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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Maternal Choices and Outcomes in International Adoption

As intercountry adoptions rose and then fell, parents made numerous choices as to where to adopt from, the demographics of the child they wanted to adopt, and more. The present study describes the maternal perspective of the choices families made to build their families through international adoption. In selecting a program, couples are choosing a country’s program that accepts their demographics and are also selecting a program that has children that fit the criteria in which they seek. We explored the choices a sample of international adoptive mothers made and how these choices ultimately shaped their families. Following the adoptions of 473 first-time intercountry adoptive mothers, this survey tracked their experience before traveling to adopt and one year after completion of the adoption. Most families chose to adopt children from ethnicities different than their own (84%) and chose based on the sex of the child (52.7%). They brought home children around two years of age at the time of adoption (M = 21.54, s = 23.42), however there was a wide range of ages chosen. Families that experienced low level of negative feedback prior to adopting internationally reported higher satisfaction a year after the adoption (F = 19.55, p < 0.001). The majority of the mothers had no regrets regarding the adoption a year after it was completed (71.3%), however the reasons some reported regret included not being in better financial shape beforehand (5.2%), adopting that particular child (4.8%), adopting an older child (3.5%), and adopting at all (3.5%). This study outlined the choices families made in their pursuit of international adoption and the outcomes that followed these choices.

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