Blending Kids By Birth and Adoption
The children’s IQ was tested and the parents were asked to fill out an Adjective Checklist and a Child Behavior Checklist for both children in the virtual twin pairs.
Biological children scored higher on IQ tests than did adopted children, which is consistent with prior research.
In general, the study found that that parents did not favor their biological children over their adopted children. “Although parents rated their adoptive children higher in negative traits and behaviors like arrogance and stealing, they scored both adopted and biological children similarly when it came to positive traits like conscientiousness and persistence.” 4 Keep in mind that the number of adopted/biological virtual twin pairs was small and the children studied were young, but the findings are still interesting and likely reassuring if you are parenting a blended family.
That’s Good News, But Now What?
While it is very common for parents to worry over issues of favoritism in blended families, it’s important to know that there are tools to help you navigate those issues well. When parenting kids in a blended family, parents need to think through the special issues that can arise. Both biological and adopted children can thrive in a blended family, but it certainly helps for adoptive parents to be educated and equipped.
This tip sheet, Top Ten Tips for Blending Children by Birth and Adoption 5 from our partners at Creating a Family is a good starting point for parenting in the trenches of virtual twinning or blended families. We
also suggest 8 Ways to Engage with Your Child & Encourage Family Communication 6 by C.A.S.E. as a tool for building strong connections between you and your children and your children with each other.
1 Who Adopts? Characteristics of Women and Men Who Have Adopted Children: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db12.htm
2 Is it Fair to Go Back Into Fertility Treatment After Adopting: https://creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/is-it-fair-to-your-adopted-child-to-go-back-into-fertility-treatment/
3 Do parents favor their adoptive or biological children: http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138%2815%2900025-2/abstract
4 Do parents favor their biological children over their adopted ones: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/do-parents-favor-their-biological-children-over-their-adopted-ones
5 Top Ten Tips for Blending Children by Birth and Adoption: https://creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/top-ten-tips-for-blending-children-by-birth-and-adoption/
6 8 Ways to Engage with Your Child & Encourage Family Communication: http://adoptionsupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/8-Ways-to-Engage-with-Your-Child.pdf