Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption survey finds shifting trends in adoption

Foster care adoption viewed more positively for first time in history of Foundation’s research

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption announced the results of its five-year benchmarking survey of national attitudes toward foster care adoption in the United States.

For the first time since 2002, the survey found that opinions of foster care adoption are more positive than private domestic infant adoption and international adoption. While the perception of foster care adoption has improved, Americans – even those who are considering foster care adoption – still have a negative impression of the process, the costs, and potential behavioral and medical issues with children in foster care.

“Understanding Americans’ perceptions about adoption is important to finding a safe, loving and permanent family for every child. While there are slight positive movements in these results, it demonstrates that our mission is more important than ever,” said Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “We must continue to dispel the myths that surround the 104,000 children who are waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. These children are there through no fault of their own, but because of the abuse or neglect they have suffered.”

The Foundation partnered with Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of more than 1,400 American adults for the 2013 National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey. Similar surveys were conducted in 2002 and 2007.

“The survey is a clear call to action,” Soronen said. “Armed with this information, we will continue to share real-life stories of successful foster care adoptions and dispel prevailing myths at every opportunity about the children available for adoption from foster care. We will not rest until every child in the United States has a nurturing and permanent home.”

Other key findings of the report include:

  • More than half (51 percent) of respondents agree with the Foundation’s belief that every child is adoptable.
  •  Americans who have considered adoption are more likely to be:
    • Women
    • Minorities
    • Ages 18-34
    • College educated (with some college or a degree)
    • Single (never married) or unmarried and living with a partner
    • Making an income between $25,000 and $50,000
  • The percentage of people who have adopted from foster care increased from the 2007 survey, showing greater increases in foster care adoption than international or private adoption, which saw a nine percent decrease.
  • Those considering any form of adoption decreased slightly since 2007, from 28 percent to 24 percent. But, foster care adoptions grew more than international and private adoptions, which actually saw a decrease.

A complete report of the Foundation’s findings can be downloaded here.

About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 134,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national signature programs, foster care adoption awareness initiatives and research-based advocacy efforts. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org, or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

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Media contacts:
Staci Perkins
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Phone: 614-764-8406
Email: staci_perkins@davethomasfoundation.org

Amanda Wurst
Account Supervisor
Paul Werth Associates
Phone: 614-224-8114
Email: awurst@paulwerth.com

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