During the twentieth century,
child adoption was reimagined in scientific terms, as a social experiment
and human laboratory that could produce knowledge as well as help
children. Researchers were persuaded that adoption could answer
basic scientific questions about development, nature and nurture,
and family norms. Professionals and parents were persuaded that
scientific research would improve family-making by minimizing risks
and maximizing safety. Adoption has been the subject of four major
types of empirical research: field
studies, outcome studies,
and psychopathology studies.
Chronological lists of studies can be found by clicking on the preceding
links. Descriptions of particular studies, and excerpts from them,
can be found by using the links in the table below.
Further reading about Adoption Studies
and Adoption Science