Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spain: 92% Adopted Parents Satisfied With Decision

I didn't find the figure at all surprising, but others might -- a study in Spain revealed that the number of adoptive parents satisfied with their decision to adopt is an extremely-high 92%.  The report also identifies some variables that cause lower satisfaction rates, some not surprising and others a bit of a surprise:
"We wanted to know to what extent adoptions in Spain are providing children who need it with a healthy family environment that promotes their development" Yolanda Sánchez-Sandoval, a researcher from the University of Cádiz (UCA) states. In order to assess that, a comprehensive questionnaire was sent to families with adopted children in Andalucía, which was employed, amongst other uses, to assess family's satisfaction with the decision as a measurement of success.

The results show that, although their lives have been not been free of difficulties, these families are happy with the adoption. "Generally speaking, they are very satisfied with their decision and its implications on their family and personal lives" Sánchez-Sandoval affirms.

77.7% of families stated that their lives have been happier as a result of the adoption and 91.9% consider its repercussions to be positive. However, 37% consider family life to be more complicated in their situation.

The children's opinion of their lives is also linked with that of their parents. "When the parents are more satisfied with the adoption, we found that the children are also happier with their own lives" the researcher declares.

In the study, which is published in the journal Psicothema, they identified some variables that are linked with difficulties in adoption, for example, if the children were older when arriving at the home, if they were adopted alone or with a sibling, or if they had previous experiences of abuse.

Adopting a child that they already knew before also affects the process. "Those who adopted children that they had a relationship with before were less satisfied, probably due to the reason for adoption. These families may have felt somewhat obliged, or reflect more on the decision" Sánchez-Sandoval analysed.

The satisfaction is also lower in cases where the parents have a higher level of education. "They have higher expectations" the author says. The mothers are less affectionate and caring, and the children are less caring and have behavioural problems.
So, does anything surprise you in these results?  I'm not quite sure I understand why adoption of children you already know leads to a lower rate of satisfaction.  And don't you love the condemnation of us over-educated, not-affectionate moms?!

I find it interesting that the researchers thought parent satisfaction was a measure that would illuminate what they were apparently studying -- the extent to which adoptions in Spain are "providing children who need it with a healthy family environment that promotes their development." Certainly, it would be A factor, since it would be linked with children's happiness (we're all familiar with the saying, "If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy," right?!).  But I'd think other factors might be more illuminating.  Maybe we'll see other reports from the survey, addressing other issues, in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the converse is true also in Spain: that 92% of families with biological offspring are happy with their decision to start a family? LOL

All kidding aside, I agree with you Malinda, that parental satisfaction is but one influence and its sad they didn't publish the stats on the kids surveyed; they infered it mirrored the parents level of happiness but the number might have been interesting too.

They also didn't state if these numbers reflected domestic or foreign adoptions?

And finally, with most countries increasing the minimum time children must spend eligible for "local" adoptions(as this relates to IA), thus making them older at time of adoption, it would seem that factor will continue to influence overall transition and family stability rates. That's so sad to me.