Spence-Chapin Adoption Study

Supporting Birth Mothers in the Journey through Adoption.

The Spence-Chapin agency has been providing adoption services within the U.S. and internationally for over 100 years. However, they have yet to understand how adoption has impacted the lives of the birth mothers and the attitudes towards adoption that impact the adoption process. This research will support Spence-Chapin in understanding mother’s experiences, and provide them with insight into what supports mothers need and who needs what supports most.

NORC at the University of Chicago, in a collaborative partnership with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), will examine

  • What are the demographic characteristics of Spence-Chapin birth mothers served over a 10-year period (2007-2020)?
  • How do the demographic characteristics of Spence-Chapin birth mothers compare to other mothers in the U.S. as a whole?
  • What is the open adoption experience of Spence-Chapin birth mothers?
  • What do birth mothers’ perceive as the impacts of adoption?

NORC will identify indicators and data sources from administrative data and di-identified data files from Spence-Chapin for secondary data analysis, implement a survey to over 400 mothers, conduct primary interviews with mothers, and analyze the data to inform the primary research questions.

Results are expected in Spring 2022.

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