New research out this month found adopted kids are more likely to struggle in school.
Scholars at the Institute for Family Studies (ISF) analyzed data from a 2016 U.S. Department of Education survey of the parents or guardians of more than 14,000 American children.
The researchers found adopted students were three times more likely to have been suspended or expelled from school and four times more likely to have repeated a grade.
The authors drew further conclusions about the importance of stable adoptive families, differences in internationally and domestically adopted children, and the prevalence of medical or emotional conditions in adopted students that affect their performance in school.
The data “reveal the complex challenges adopted children face in overcoming the effects of early stress, deprivation, and the loss of the biological family,” wrote authors Nicholas Zill and Bradford Wilcox, both senior fellows at IFS. They added that the data also revealed that even among those who struggle, the majority of adopted children enjoy going to school and receive resources to help them flourish.
“There is little question that adopted children are better off than they would be in long-term foster or institutional care,” Zill and Wilcox concluded. “It is vital that current and potential adoptive parents be aware of the challenges they may face, as well as the eventual benefits that will accrue to them and the child as a result of the love and resources they provide and the struggles they endure.” —K.C.