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Study Says Most Adopted Children Are Happy and Healthy

Adoption is an emotionally charged topic, but a new study reports some hopeful news: Most adopted children in the US are happy and healthy.

The report includes the most extensive national data ever gathered on adopted children in the US and says 85 percent of adopted children's parents report they are in excellent or very good health. And, 88 percent of adopted children age six and older showed positive social behaviors.

The "Adoption USA" report was written by researchers at Child Trends and the US Department of Health and Human Services and based on questions in the first ever study of families who have adopted children through foster care, private domestic adoption or international adoption.

For a breakdown of some of the study's other findings, read more.

NPR pulled out some of the most powerful stats, including:

  • Parents of adopted children show them lots of attention. They are more likely to be read to every day as young children (68 percent vs. 48 person in the general population). And 87 percent of adopted children have parents who say they would "definitely" make the same decision to adopt their children.
  • Adopted children are more likely to have been diagnosed with depression, ADD/ADHD or some sort of behavior disorder. Although adopted children are for the most part in good health and show positive social behaviors, 54 percent of children adopted from foster care have some sort of special health care need. Thirty-two percent of children in domestic adoptions and 29 percent of those in international adoptions also have special health needs.
  • Adopted children do well in school. More than half perform at excellent or very good levels in reading and math, according to their parents.

Obviously, adoption is a complicated process that involves effort from all parties involved and extra love, care and support, so it's a relief to hear good news instead of the usual media portrayal. Are you shocked by the findings, or do they fall in line with your experience or knowledge of created families?

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