ERIC Number: ED291211
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Barriers to Adoption of Special Needs Children: A National Study.
McCullagh, James G.
This exploratory study analyzed the incidence and nature of barriers experienced by applicants wishing to adopt special needs children, defined as: "children who are older, have physical disabilities, are emotionally troubled, or are mentally retarded. Many are Black or Hispanic. Some are brothers and sisters who need a home together." Between mid-January and the end of June 1984, approximately 13,000 questionnaires were mailed to affiliates of the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), foster parents associations, and other groups and individuals. Usable surveys were returned by 535 respondents, of whom 55.7 percent were identified as having experienced a homestudy barrier. Of the 191 white married respondents, 125 experienced a homestudy barrier. Consistent with other investigative findings, Blacks and single females and males clearly encountered homestudy barriers. Very few respondents expressed interest in adopting mentally retarded children or those with severe or even moderate disabilities. Almost 60 percent were unwilling to adopt a child older than 9 years. It is concluded that there is a mismatch between available children offered by agencies and what most respondents apparently want. Identified limitations of the study include the inability to identify the number of persons who believe they actually experienced a homestudy barrier. In addition, it is suggested that investigators may need to study number and race of staff available to prepare homestudies, examine eligibility criteria, and study application forms. More than half the document is made up of statistical tables displaying the study data. The NACAC questionnaire is appended. (JW)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Northern Iowa, Great Falls. Dept. of Social Work.; North American Council on Adoptable Children, Washington, DC.
Note: The Graduate College of the University of Northern Iowa also provided a Grant for this study. Appendix is printed on colored paper.