• November 2013
  • Vol. 14, No. 8

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Studies Track Attitudes About Foster Care Adoption

Two new studies from the Dave Thomas Foundation shed promising light on adoption attitudes in the United States and Canada. The first, a new national survey commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, shows that many U.S. citizens have considered adoption from foster care. Conducted by Harris Interactive, the email survey of more than 1,400 adults focused specifically on national attitudes toward foster care adoption and, although some improvements have been made, results show that many misperceptions about the foster care adoption process continue to persist.

The report, 2013 National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, which is a follow-up to the National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, 2007, indicates that for the first time since 2002, Americans have more favorable opinions of foster care adoption than either private or intercountry adoptions. In addition, some specific perceptions about foster care adoption have improved since 2007. For example, in 2007, 59 percent of respondents thought children adopted from foster care were more likely to have problems with behavior and self-control; by 2013, that number had fallen to 46 percent.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Approximately 84 percent (up from 72 percent in 2007) of American adults have a very favorable opinion of adoption.
  • Although nearly 75 percent (down from 89 percent in 2007) of Americans are familiar with adoption in general, only 63 percent (down from 79 percent in 2007) of Americans are familiar with foster care adoption.

While the percentage of foster care adoptions has grown since 2007, more than 100,000 children still wait to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system. The report, including an executive summary and detailed findings, is available here:

http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/DTFA-HarrisPoll-REPORT-USA-FINALl.pdf (3 MB)

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Canada commissioned a similar study for the first time. Canadian Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey is available here:

http://davethomasfoundation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/DTFA-HarrisPoll-REPORT-CAN_Final-web.pdf (3 MB)

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