‘Attitudes Toward Adoption in Singapore’ by Jayashree Mohanty, Journal of Family Issues

By Jayashree Mohanty

Dr Jayashree Mohanty (Department of Social Work) analyzes what shapes attitudes towards adoption in the unique cultural and demographic context of Singapore.

This study aimed to understand the factors that influence attitudes toward adoption in Singapore. Singapore is an interesting test case for studying adoption attitudes. First, Singapore is facing a demographic crisis associated with fertility rates that are below the population-replacement level. Singapore has the lowest total fertility rate (estimated at 0.78) in the world. Second, Singapore represents a culturally and ethnically diverse community. The three major ethnic groups in Singapore – Chinese (74.1%), Malays (13.4%), and Indians (9.2%) – allow researchers to understand how cultural attitudes shape adoption beliefs and outcomes. Third, apart from Japan, Singapore is the only country in Asia that receives children for international adoption. Using a multistage, quota sampling method, 1,200 Singaporean citizens and permanent residents were interviewed. The results indicate that the majority of the respondents approved of adoption as a family form. Logistic regression analysis showed that individual characteristics (women and income) and factors such as the importance of blood ties, adoption-related altruistic values, and familiarity with adoption were related to adoption approval. The factors that influenced intention to adopt were women, familiarity with adoption, and approval of adoption. Individuals who perceived the importance of blood ties in familial relationships and had concerns about the outcomes of adopted children (adjustment problems, behavioral problems, medical problems, etc.) were less likely to have considered adopting. The findings point to the need to increase awareness among the public and to promote adoption as a rewarding and responsible choice for family formation.

Mohanty J. (2014) Attitudes Toward Adoption in Singapore Journal of Family Issues 35: 5 705-728.