The Role of Faith in Adoption: Achieving Positive Adoption Outcomes for African American Children.
Belanger, Kathleen. Copeland, Sam. Cheung, Monit.
Vol. 87, No. 2 , p. 99-123
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
727 15th Street, NW 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
African American children are overrepresented in foster care by more than twice their proportion in the population (U.S. Government Accountability Office [USGAO], 2007). Building upon research relating faith (religiosity) to positive health and mental health, this study utilized cognitive and religious coping theories to examine the influence of faith on choosing to adopt, achieving positive adoption outcomes, and reducing disproportionality. From Louisiana and Texas, 113 families who adopted 226 children, 48% African American, participated in a survey measuring children?s behavior and parent distress (PSI-SF Difficult Child and Parent Distress Subscales) and religiosity (Hoge Intrinsic Religiosity Index). Of the respondents, 93% of the respondents belonged to a religious congregation, 86% attended church weekly. Controlling for child?s behavior, religiosity predicted lower stress in adoptive parenting; church attendance was related to improvement in parental health since adopting. Faith was rated most frequently as essential in parents? decisions to adopt. The study concludes that faithmay be an asset in increasing adoptions and improvingadoption outcomes resulting in increased numbers ofAfrican American children adopted. (Author abstract)
African Americans; adopted children; adoption; religion; outcomes; adoptive families