The Dynamic of Poverty and Affluence in Child Adoption

Harold D. Grotevant, Holly A. Grant-Marsney, Quade Y. S. French, Danila S. Musante and Jen H. Dolan

in The Oxford Handbook of Poverty and Child Development

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199769100
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Dynamic of Poverty and Affluence in Child Adoption

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  • Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



This chapter examines connections among poverty, adoption, and child outcomes in (1) child welfare adoptions, (2) domestic private adoptions, and (3) international adoptions. We discuss ways in which poverty plays a central role in the movement of children from their birth families to adoptive families and argue that adoption is a powerful intervention in the lives of children whose development might have been at risk because of poverty. Because adoption involves a legal relationship, it must be considered within the national context in which the relevant laws and policies are situated. Therefore, this chapter focuses on adoption in the United States. Each of the three primary sections includes a brief overview and history of that type of adoption in the United States followed by a discussion of current policies linking poverty, adoption, and child outcomes. Implications for practice and policy are presented, and future directions for the field are suggested.

Keywords: poverty; affluence; adoption; foster care; policy; child outcomes; child welfare

Article.  16746 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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