Child Adoption Research Paper

2084 words - 8 pages

My sister Katie feels like she “doesn’t belong” with my family. As kids, we used to play dress up with one another and Katie would always ask my mom to make her have blonde hair just as I did. My mom would then put a yellow towel on her head so that she could pretend she did. As a child I could not understand why Katie would want to do such a silly thing to try and look as I did. In my eyes we were both the same and nothing else mattered. As we got older, it became more apparent to me how different we really were. I am Caucasian and she is Native American. I have blonde hair and blue eyes while she has black hair and brown eyes. Not only did we look very different but our personalities differed as well. Katie was always much more fussy than I was when we were young but our differences really became apparent once she was old enough to learn that she is adopted. She did not immediately change, but as she got older she dealt with Bulimia, Borderline Personality Disorder, and the struggle of wanting to find her “real” family. I have always wondered if the way she thinks and behaves has any correlation to knowing that she is adopted and struggling with that, or if it is simply genetics that has caused her to have the problems that she does. I discovered a statement that really caught my attention because it related so well to my family’s situation. The statement reads, “Although the majority of adopted children and adolescents appear to be well adjusted, a minority present serious behavior problems, in a higher rate than do non-adopted children. Also, adoptees are at higher risk of being referred to mental health services or psychiatric treatment (Juffer).” My sister has created many issues within my family that both my parents and I have needed the help of counselors to overcome. Child Adoption can be a great thing but it is important for adults that have chosen to adopt, to know that they have a chance of receiving a child that may have social and emotional problems that they will have to deal with. This has caused me to want to further research the issue. What are the social and emotional effects that adoption has on children?
Research
Child Adoption has been around for centuries. According to The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the most recent number of national adoptions was last collected in 1992 and has not been collected since. The reason for this is that it is not legally required. In 1992, the number of adoptions that occurred in the U.S. was around 127,000. In total, there are 1.5 million children that are adopted in the U.S., which accounts for over 2% of all U.S. children (Donaldson, 2008). My sister’s adoption is considered to be transracial. That is when children are placed into a household that is of a different race. Only 8% of the total amounts of adoptions are transracial, which is pretty shocking to me. The website also offered the percentages of the most common ages that children are usually adopted. The most common age...

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