ERIC Number: ED118225
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Jun-15
Reference Count: N/A
Informal Adoption in Black Families in Lowndes and Wilcox Counties, Alabama.
Jones, Lewis W.
This research deals with the legal, social and cultural contexts in which informal adoption of black children by adults takes place in rural south Alabama. A total of 306 parent surrogates were identified, interviewed and compared on the basis of 10 socioeconomic characteristics. Information was also collected on the number of children informally adopted in each house, reasons for the adoption, available alternatives to adoption, length of adoption period designated and circumstances of the parent and the parent surrogate when the child was taken in, characteristics of the child, and the relationship of child and parent surrogates with the natural parents. Data were collected on the incidence of parental request for retrieval of the child, on parental assistance in the care of the child, on the adoption children's physical and psychological condition, and on the parent surrogates. knowledge of the level adoption system. Analysis of the data indicated that there was a high degree of satisfaction and acceptance of the informal adoption arrangement, that the children were accepted into the surrogate homes as natural children, and that legal adoption was rarely considered or sought by these rural people. It is noted that the stringent requirements for legal adoption would deny many of the parent surrogates in this study the opportunity to become adoptive parents. Improvements in income, educational and health services are suggested as solutions which would not impair the traditional social concern among such people that assures children parental love and care. (GO)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Tuskegee Inst., AL. Center for Rural Development.
Identifiers - Location: Alabama