First person perspectives vs adoption studies

08 Oct
Adoption blogs are written by people involved in adoption.  The words are their own, their stories and passions theirs.  Their goals and dreams are their own, just like the challenges each person has faced.  So why when someone publishes a post that challenges perceptions of others, they are bombarded with comments about studies that do not show that…first person perspectives always trump contrived studies designed to show the outcome desired.
I did the following google search studies on child adoption and the following info was returned: 13,100,000 results in 0.13 seconds.  Of course not all the pages returned are actual studies but they all reference the studies.  I then did another search studies on adoptive parents and it returned 342,000 results in 0.18 seconds, studies on birthparents returned 186,000 in 0.15 seconds.  Again not all pages were actual studies but they reference the studies.  It shows just how much studies are used in the industry to prove the point of the speaker to the audience.  
So now lets look at the studies on adoptees…
Internationally in the Netherlands there is one being done right now called: Longitudinal Study of Adoptee Attachment and Problem Behaviours.  They are studying the adoptees at 6 months (guess it is the parents speaking), at 7 years – pretty much guaranteed to again be the parents speaking or answering the questions, or at least asking the question to the child who will of course provide the desired answer, at 14 years of age – may have a bit more reality but the answers will be seen by the parents so again, it will be the desired answer, and at 21 perhaps a few brave souls will answer honestly, but probably not.  So the adoptee voice – not so much.
Or what about this study – really the name says what the results will be.  Study: Adoptees Do Not Lack Self-Esteem: A Meta-Analysis of Studies on Self-Esteem of Transracial, International, and Domestic Adoptees
You will find studies on adoptees for behavior problems, psychiatric problems, schizophrenia, attachment, intelligence, open or closed adoptions – just about any question about adoptees that has ever been asked – has been studied ad nauseum. 
On to the seriously horribly unethical study on twins from my era…two of the participants even wrote a book about it and I am pretty sure the two in the video below are the same who wrote the book.
Twin Study – Identical Strangers – Viola Bernard, a renowned New York psychologist had persuaded Louise Wise Services, the adoption agency, to send twins to different homes, without telling the respective adoptive parents that the children were twins, and then researchers secretly followed their progress. She believed that identical twins would better forge individual identities if separated. By the time the twins started to investigate the adoption, Bernard had already died, but the twins found New York University psychiatrist Peter Neubauer who had studied the twins.
The twin study they were involved with was never completed.  The practice of separating twins at birth ended in the state of New York in 1980, a year after the Bernard study ended. Neubauer reportedly had Yale University lock away and seal the study until 2066. He realized that public opinion would be so against the research that he decided not to publish it. Efforts to have Yale University release the records by the sisters and other twins have failed.
The Neubauer study differs from all other twin studies in that it followed the twins from infancy. The biggest surprise to come from the Bernard research is that twins reared apart aren’t any more different than those reared together. This suggests children’s differences are not forged by their families but by other, subtler factors.
Obviously the results on the above study would be glorified by anyone with a problem child who would not wish to have any fingers pointed at their parenting, but I am equally as sure that if the child was a famous brain surgeon the results of the study would be negated.
There are some good studies that have taken place.  The Evan B Donaldson Institute has published some recently that speak more realistically…but of course they aren’t the ones that are talked about.
I see requests to be part of studies on adoption all the time.  I am tired of it and believe others feel that way too.  Enough of being lab rats for the industry.
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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized


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