There are a lot of people who believe that adoption has negative effects on children, but that’s entirely untrue. The government would not support adoption if we were negatively affecting our youth, and neither would we. We all want the best for all children. Although not every adoption goes as smooth as we would like to hope, in the vast majority of cases the benefits greatly outweigh the minimal negatives. In fact, adopted children often turn out in better shape than children raised by their birthparents. So, what are the effects of adoption on children?
Social Interaction among Adoptees
An adopted child will grow up just as any other child. Part of growing up is to make friends and build relationships with other people. Without this social interaction, a child’s life could be lacking. There have been studies that check in on children that were adopted at a young age, from birth, or during their teen years and check on them after they hit their 20s. In the studies, they gave adopted children a survey and asked them how they felt their life turned out, if they were happy, if they had any regrets, and so on. The same survey was given to a similar group of adults that were raised by their birthparents in a traditional American household. To no surprise, the results were nearly the same. In one test, adopted women out-performed the traditionally-raised women and were actually happier. The men averaged out to nearly identical results.
Self-Identity and Mental Effects among Adoptees
It’s a common occurrence that people associate adoption with a mental handicap, but that’s just plain false. The odds of someone becoming mentally handicapped are the same between both adopted and traditionally-raised children. The odds are also the same with the average IQ between adopted children and adopted adults versus children raised with their birthparents.
The identity of a human begins forming in childhood and throughout the teen years and becomes more pronounced. For this reason, it’s best to make sure your child knows their past as early as possible to avoid confronting them with this during their adolescent stage. However, regardless of when your child becomes aware of their past, the effects on their identity are minimal.
According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, an adopted person may not want to acknowledge the fact that they are adopted, or may even become angry, depressed, or feel like they are lacking something in their life; however, there are plenty of support groups and the child will always come to understand themselves eventually. These self-awareness effects seem to have a negative effect on the child, but they actually open up a whole new world and make the adoptee stronger. It’s undeniable that the person who understands themselves the most is strong. It’s also undeniable that an adoptee will eventually find the adoption as a strength and will move toward peace and acceptance, eventually making them stronger.
The effects of adoption on children are identical to that of a traditionally-raised child. Between the government agencies, private adoption agencies, adoption research institutions, and university research, there are a few conclusions that anyone could draw:
An adopted child raised in a loving and supportive environment…
- Is as happy if not happier than children that were not adopted.
- Has the same chances of being mentally handicapped as other children that were not adopted.
- Has an identical IQ rating to children that were not adopted.
- May struggle with self-identity at first, but turn out stronger in the end.
If you would like to learn more about the impacts of adoption in more depth, feel free to read the PDF on the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s website.
If you are interested in adopting, or are thinking of placing your child up for adoption, please contact us and our adoption counselors can help advise you and work with you through your emotional times.