Posted on May 18, 2018

Why Do Middle-Class Couples of European Descent Adopt Children from Africa and Asia? Some Support for the Differential K Model

Edward Dutton,and Guy Madison, Personality and Individual Differences, August 1, 2018


Patterns of adoption behaviour are starkly asymmetric across populations. To better understand this phenomenon we conducted a systematic review of transracial adoption and adoption in general. We found six quantitative studies from the USA (with representative samples comprising a total of 117,000 participants) which had examined sex, race, and SES in relation to differences in behaviours and attitudes regarding both transracial adoption and adoption in general. A secondary analysis of these data found that transracial adopting is predicted by being female, white (as opposed to black), and of higher SES. These data are consistent with group differences in Life History Strategy – the Differential K model – regarding males and females, SES differences, and white and black people, but not with the fact that both transracial adoption and adoption rates in general seem to be lower in Northeast Asian countries. The influence of cultural factors upon these patterns may be addressed by future studies.