Is Adoption an Option? The Role of Importance of Motherhood and Fertility Help-Seeking in Considering Adoption

Nicholas K. Park, Patricia Wonch Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Americans have positive views of adoption, yet many never consider adoption. This study examined characteristics that predict whether women ever consider adoption as a pathway to motherhood using an analytic sample of 876 childless women from the National Survey of Fertility Barriers. Using Risman's theory of gender as a social structure as a framework, we focused on the role of the importance of motherhood and infertility in predicting adoption consideration. Women who held higher levels of importance of motherhood and engaged in medical help-seeking for infertility were more likely to consider adoption at both the bivariate and multivariate levels. Women currently considering adoption were more likely to have seen a doctor for infertility, to have a high importance of motherhood, to be African American, and were generally older. Longitudinal research is needed to evaluate how views of adoption and the importance of motherhood change over time for individual women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-626
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • adoption
  • help-seeking
  • infertility
  • motherhood
  • pronatalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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