Monday, April 19, 2010

Some Statistics on Disruption

Some interesting, though a bit dated, statistics on adoption disruption in this LiveScience article, The Dark Side of Adoptions: Why Parents & Kids Don't Bond:

While bonding may be slow, most adoptions work out. According to a review of American adoptions in the book Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998), 80 percent of placements make it to legalization. After the paperwork is in, the success rate was 98 percent.

But in extreme cases, the adoption "disrupts," and the child is sent back to the agency or foster home. This process is rarely as dramatic as Artyom's unaccompanied flight from Washington, D.C., to Moscow, but the case matches previous research in other ways. The risk of adoption disruption increases with age, from less than 1 percent in infants to up to 26 percent for kids adopted after age 15, according two 1988 studies.

The second of those studies, published in the journal Social Work, found a disruption rate of 10 percent for children adopted between the ages of 6 and 8. Artyom was 7 when he came to America.
I think we would all see inuitively how disruption rates would rise with the age of the child when adopted, but it's interesting to see that research backs up that intuition. I would not, however, have thought the rates as high as those quoted in the article.

Disruption rates are hard to come by, since they usually happen under the radar, and look just like any old adoption. Add to that the fact that any record-keeping that happens is in each individual state, it's really hard to get a complete picture. That's why I'm happy any time I run across statistics about disruption, no matter how dated.


Von said...

Stats are always interesting as far as they go, they rarely show the true picture.Bet there are no stats and never will be on how many adoptees appear to have bonded and later have problems shaking off 'the good adoptee' image.The stats on adoptees with RAD who are in prison or who have been would be informative but bet they'll not show up.
Those of you doing it tough need all the help you can get, especially the understanding of the community and access to services.

Dawn said...

There are several more studies that look only at foster-to-adopt. There aren't numbers about international adoption and some of those kids are traded around underground (international kids) sometimes with the help of organizations and sometimes with the help of facilitators. Which is to say that there are unofficial disruptions, too.

I really wish my article was out now -- it's killing me not to talk more about what I found out in the research there but I can't talk much 'til the edits are done.

travelmom and more said...

I am curious as to the number of runaways or children living with friends, relatives or incarcerated that are from either disrupted foster placements, disrupted adoptions or just abandonment/neglect from biological parents. My guess is the number of children, rejected in some way or another is much higher than any of us would like to think.

malinda said...

Dawn, what's the ETA on your article? Can't wait to read it. . .