Saturday, July 9, 2011

One stupid study

Well, here's a headline sure to give adoptive parents a little panic attack:

"Study: Adopted kids more susceptible to mental, physical woes,"

The researchers determined that adopted kids are three times more likely to have physical and mental-health disabilities than kids raised by their biological parents. BUT... all the kids in the study were adopted from foster care, so likely suffered some abuse and/or neglect in their early months or years, plus the likely trauma of moving from one foster home to another. As I know so well from Quinn, early neglect - even in the fairly benign form of a lack of stimulation - leaves a lasting impact. So are those kids likely to have problems down the line? Absolutely. Would they have those problems whether they were with biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents or in a group home? Absolutely.

I'm no researcher, but it seems to me that this study measured the long-term impact of a rough beginning, but attributed that impact not to the rough beginning, but to adoption.


Snickerdoodle said...

Yeah, who knows what agenda they were fighting??

Almost anyone can prove anything, if they slant the study in *just* the right way.

China Dreams said...

I plugged the link in and read the article. I'm very critical of research/statistics and their use and after reading this article, I have to say that: 1. I don't think the article was meant to discourage adoption, but only to point to the statistics, and 2. The article is just an abstract so it's difficult to assess the full results, but we'll never see them because they wouldn't sell to readers, and 3. The data sounds accurate, and 4. The data, if used properly, might result in some really positive changes for children in our foster care system, such as fewer placements/placement changes and more early intervention and support services. This last is so different within our 50 states. We have a wonderful service here in NH and in most of New England for post-adoption support services and it is free, funded through an endowment by the family that founded UPS. Our university also has a free respite center for parents when they just desperately need a day, night, or weekend free to regain perspective, energy, peace, etc. In our state you can also file a CHiNS petition on your own child through the court system (Child in Need of Services) and you won't be punished or penalized for turning to them for help. (in some states if you try to get help or try to give your child to the state because their needs are too great for you to handle, you are sued for child abuse/neglect and abandonment).

Sorry, I'm really running on. Can you tell that I've had no Internet for about three weeks?

Hope you guys are having a great summer.