Adoption in Sociology Research paper

7 July 2016

Abstract The purpose of this paper is to inform the reader of the sociological studies on how adopted children are prejudged and how they can fit into society. It also discusses the difference within the family dynamic. It presents facts and statistics or our current adoption system and suggests ways on which to fix it. Adoption I decided on adoption as my topic because it’s a topic that’s very close to me. Being adopted, this research paper gave me the perfect opportunity to learn about the sociological effects adoption has on children and their adoptive/birth parents.

The problem is, there is not enough adoptive parents for the parentless children. This is because regulations for adoption have gotten to strict for in country and out. This is a significant topic due to the amount of children in foster care. This is not only bad for our economy but our society as a whole. Adoption is an ancient arrangement. It has been around forever. Not only is it spoken of in the Bible, but Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians all had adoption systems. The concept of adoption was not legally recognized in the United States of America until the 1850’s For my paper, I dove into five main types of adoption.

Adoption in Sociology Research paper Essay Example

The first being foster care adoption. Foster care adoption is where the state cares for them when reunification with their birth parents is not feasible for safety or other reasons. The second is private adoption. Private adoption is through an agency/independent network where there is no contact between the child and birth parents. The third is open adoption. Open adoption is also through an agency/independent network but the birth parents can plan visits, receive pictures, write letters, and send gifts to their child. The fourth is inter-country adoption. Inter country adoption is the adoption of children from other

countries by U. S. citizens. The final type of adoption I decided to study is transracial adoption. This is the adoption of a child of a different race from the adopting parents. The Sociological Studies In the United States, the traditional family co-exists with alternate family forms such as the adoptive family where kinship is completely based on a legal relationship as opposed to a biological one. Many studies have been done on the psychological, legal, and ethical issues surrounding adoption. The first study on adoption was done in 1924 in New York and was called How Foster Children Turn Out; Social Adaption.

This study questioned how many subjects (adopted children) were capable or incapable of social adaption. The distribution of subjects whose capability was known was six hundred and fifteen or 77. 2% of the 797 subjects whose general ability was known as “capable” persons. They proved themselves able to manage their own affairs with average common sense, to keep pace economically with their neighbors, and to earn the respect and good will of their communities. In other words, these subjects have “made good. ” One hundred and eighty-two or 22. 8%, are rated “incapable”. For one reason or another they did not get on.

Some of them have mental or physical handicaps which interfered with their ability to get along without help and protection. Others have qualities of resourcefulness, energy and foresight to so slight a degree that they could not keep their footing if thrown on their own. Still others have demonstrated their inability or their unwillingness to conform to accepted standards of morality or order. The next major study on how adopted kids adapt was done in 1964. This was Kirks path breaking study of adoption which was called Shared Fate: A Theory of Adoption and Mental Health.

His study demonstrated the existence of disparaging community attitudes and stigmas toward adopted children. In 1997, the first large scale study of community attitudes toward adoption as a social institution in the U. S was conducted and it showed many stigmas which were attached to adopted kids. A total of 30% of those asked questioned the mental state of the adopted children and only 32% of the respondents expressed support for adoption. Overall, adoption has been considered to be the second best family. Uncommon to popular belief, a study done in 1994 showed that adopted kids have the same,

if not better, attachment to their parents as biological kids do. Adopted children scored higher on identity measures, such as self esteem, than there non-adopted peers. A study done in 2008 called The Power of Adoption: BIRTHright or birthright says, “Adoption involves symbols, not biology. Symboled adoption can’t extensively, directly influence biological factors but can have a significant impact upon the meaning of biology. Symboled factors can have a significant indirect influence. The impact of meaning is illustrated in birthright patterns in which the consequences stem for the “rights” not directly from the birth.

” Community attitudes toward adoption have been shaped by the social stigmatism of children born out of wed lock, their biological parents, and derogative attitudes towards infertility. Fortunately, the social acceptance of out of wed lock births has increased since the 1960’s and the attitudes toward unwed mothers have become more lenient. Statistics and Micro/Macro Analysis Sadly, the number of adoptions has declined since 1970. About 100,000 children go unadopted each year. The number of foreign children adopted by Americans has also dropped for the third year in a row.

Figures for the 2007 fiscal year, provided by the State Department, showed that adoptions from abroad have fallen to 19,411, down about 15 percent in just two years. Individual adoptions are micro in nature. They only affect the families involved. However, the general process (legalization, laws, etc) of adoption is macro because it allows mothers an option for their children and allows childless couples the opportunity to have children if they are unable. These things can affect laws, economics, and religious institutions. On a micro level, there are 280 children available for adoption in Colorado, whereas on a macro level, in the U.

S. , there are 423,000 children living without permanent families. On an even bigger scale, there is an estimated 163 million orphans in the world. Most of the children in public child welfare systems range in age from 2 to 18. With abuse, neglect, or other family issues prevent them from living with their birth parents. Some of these children may be referred to as having “special needs” because they are 5 years of age or older, part of sibling group who must be placed together, are African American or Hispanic, have developmental disabilities, or have other physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

Nearly 40% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted. Each year, over 29,000 youth “age out” of foster care. This means they turn 18 and leave the system and have to support themselves. Sadly, most don’t have the emotional or financial support necessary to succed. Nearly 25% of youth aging out did not have a high school diploma or GED, and a mere 6% had finished a two- or four-year degree after aging out of foster care. One study shows 70% of all youth in foster care have the desire to attend college. But without the help of a parent, they never get the opportunity.

Sociological Perspectives From a structural-functionalism perspective, the function of adoption is necessary to provide kids who don’t have a good home life and parents who are unable to have children the chance to have a family, although, adoption would be viewed as part of a dysfunctional family structure. They believe that when there is a disparity in the social institution, it’s considered a deviation and therefore to be dysfunctional. The label of dysfunctional has little to do with psychological harm to individuals and instead it refers to a failure of families to meet the functional needs of society as a whole.

According to the structural functional theory, parents with adopted children, regardless of their parenting skills, are by definition dysfunctional. While the conflict theory mostly focuses on how parents are more likely to adopt children of the same race as them. This is true. The amount of transracial adoptions are neary 1 in 5 compared to same race adoption. The symbolic interactionist perspective helps us understand what happens in the process of family creation. In order to function as a family, all family members have to be adopted.

In marriage, a male and a female typically adopt each other as family, or spouse, so that from the two persons, one family can be created. The adoption process is reciprocal in that each is both an “adopter” and “adoptee” at the same time. We jointly create family entity. The meaning is shared by both spouses. Each individual must also label themselves as a family member or as a spouse. Global Perspective In some parts of the world, adopted children are still frowned upon. For example, in Nigeria, adoptees most times are engulfed with shame because of the feelings of rejection and abandonment that exist in their minds.

They feel that they don’t belong to the existing class when their real parents are not there for them and they have been given up for adoption. Additionally, most times segregation takes place between an adoptee and other children and this can lead to the adoptee being bullied. In Nigeria, they also have very different laws regarding adoption. Instead of government organizations, they have non-governmental organizations and other capable groups that are responsible for providing a good life for adoptees. They make sure the children are taken care of and make sure they are given to trusted, matured, and kind hearted adoptive parents.

The policy for adoption in that country says, “the adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and 21 years older than the child. ” Conclusion While adoption is still a pressing topic, the government seems not to care. While the amount of kids entering foster care and the amount of kids being adopted, you’d think they’d get a clue to lessen the requirements and hardships of adoption. Until they do, I doubt the number of adoptions will increase. On the bright side, the social stigmas attatched to adopted children in the U. S. are slowly disappearing and have gone from taboo to acceptable.

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