According to new research, millions of American women of childbearing age have significant gaps in their understanding of the process and benefits of adoption.
Findings from Dr. George Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University suggest that about half of all women of childbearing age (15-44) are unaware of its workings and benefits.
Teenage girls recorded the lowest level of basic adoption knowledge, with less than a quarter (23%) having such knowledge, compared to 53% of women nationally.
More than a quarter of women (27%) were unaware that a birth mother could continue her education or work throughout the pregnancy and adoption process, without losing income or benefits, found Researchers.
Another 21% did not know that biological parents can choose the family that will adopt their child. That number more than doubled (47%) among young respondents, according to the study.
Commissioned in January by national adoption research center The Opt Institute, the study, titled “Adoption and Its Competitors: Findings from a 2022 U.S. National Adoption Survey,” asked a random national sample of 1,091 15-year-old women. at 44 to determine whether five basic statements describing adoption were true or false:
Being able to participate in an “open” adoption allows the biological parents to continue to be part of the child’s life in a specific capacity;
Birth parents can receive private counseling and other forms of emotional support before, during and after adoption;
The pregnancy of the biological mother is entirely paid for by the adoptive parents;
The biological parents can choose the family that adopts the child;
The birth mother can continue her education or employment throughout the pregnancy and adoption process, without losing income or benefits.
Although all five statements are factually accurate, just over half of all women of childbearing age (53%) knew that at least four of the statements are true, compared to only 15% who think none or only one statements is true. , according to the study.
The most informed women about adoption are those in their forties (70%) and married women (63%). The least knowledgeable segments of women about adoption are those who were adopted as infants (29%), Asians (28%) and teenage girls (23%), according to the study.
The researchers identified four common motivations for wanting to place a child for adoption: the mother’s financial situation (33%); his desire to do what is in the best interest of the child (32%); a desire to help a family who wants to adopt a child (29%); and the mother acknowledging her personal lack of preparation or maturity to raise a child (23%).
While there are approximately 65 million women in the United States considered to be of childbearing age (15 to 44 years old), research indicates that a growing number of young women have little interest in having children, according to the study.
But with a staggering 45% of women currently of childbearing age who report experiencing physical, sexual or emotional abuse growing up, researchers say backgrounds have undoubtedly influenced young women’s interest in having children. .
This leaves three choices for these women: to give birth and raise the child; give birth and place the child for adoption; or abort the child.
John Knox, founder of the Opt Institute, said he hopes the research will spark discussion about adoption as an option for American women.
“For women who for whatever reason will not be able to raise a child, adoption is a wonderful alternative, as evidenced by the millions of adults who were placed by mothers for adoption as children” , did he declare. “The positive experiences of these adopted children and the incredible gifts they represent to society speak to why adoption should be a respected and meaningful option for women to consider.
“We can do better to provide women with accurate, complete and non-coercive information about choosing loving adoption, and this study is important to show why this is essential.”
A decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization The case expected as early as this week has renewed nationwide attention on the topic of abortion, but legal experts say it’s unclear how the ruling could affect adoption rates in states. -United.