Adoptive Parents May Try Harder
Washington Post, February 13, 2007; Page A14
Adoptive parents invest more time and financial resources in their children than do biological parents, according to a national study challenging earlier research that has been used to oppose same-sex marriage and gay adoption.
The study, reported in the American Sociological Review, found that couples who adopt spend more money on their children and invest more time on such activities as reading to them, eating together and talking with them about their problems.
"One of the reasons adoptive parents invest more is that they really want children, and they go to extraordinary means to have them," Indiana University sociologist Brian Powell, one of the study's three co-authors, said yesterday.
Powell and his colleagues examined data from 13,000 households with first-graders in the family, focusing on 161 families headed by two adoptive parents. They rated better overall than families with biological parents on an array of criteria -- including helping with homework, parental involvement in school, exposure to cultural activities and family attendance at religious services. The only category in which adoptive parents fared worse was the frequency of talking with parents of other children.