I came across an academic abstract titled “Attitudes Toward Adoption in Singapore” by Asst. Professor Jayashree Mohanty from the Department of Social Work at the National University of Singapore. Fortunately, I part-time in a university that gives me access to all kinds of e-journals, and so I was able to download this paper and read it in its entirety. While I got a bit lost with the statistics (it’s been a while since I came across dichotomous variables gah!), the general findings were fascinating, especially given how this paper was just released late last year. I appreciate getting a big picture perspective of adoption attitudes in Singapore – Dr. Mohanty had interviewed over 1,2000 Singaporean citizens and permanent residents for her research.
In any case, here’s the stuff that I found fascinating:
– 86.2% of Singaporeans approve of adoption, yay! However, this approval rate is lower than in studies conducted in Western countries such as the US (94%) and Canada (98%).
– Importance of blood ties (blood ties seen as the strongest form of relationships in Chinese culture, and Islamic beliefs in purity of family lineage). Previous studies in other countries show that having unknown blood ties leads to social discrimination.
– Familiarity/personal experience with adoption is positively related to favourable opinions about adoption and intention to adopt.
– Only 47.4% were in favour of open adoption, largely due to the belief that contact with biological parents may interfere with bonding in the adoptive family, and challenge the parental role identity.
– Indians and Malays are more favourable towards transracial adoption than Chinese; one factor being that transracial adoption is more prevalent historically among these communities in Singapore.
– Dr. Mohanty’s conclusion: “There is a need for programs to raise the general public’s awareness of the various issues and concerns of adoptive triad members [birth parent, adoptive parent and adoptee] and the important role of adoption in creating families in Singapore. As a society, if we want our families to be strong and stable, we need to be sensitive toward the specific needs of adoptive families and provide the support they need, so that they can grow in a happy and enriching environment.”
My brain ached a little after reading it. But it’s such a rare and relevant resource! Do drop me a line at adventuresofsquirky[at]gmail[dot]com if you’d like to find out more about this study.