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Relative outcomes of parenting by biological and adoptive parents


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Research into relative outcomes of parenting by biological and adoptive parents has produced a variety of results. When socioeconomic differences between two-biological-parent and two-adoptive-parent households are controlled for, the two types of families tend to invest a similar amount of resources. A 20-year longitudinal study of 245 adoptees placed in the first few months of life that compared the children's cognitive abilities with those of their birth and adoptive parents found that before age 5, the adoptees' cognitive skills correlated more with those in their adoptive families, but as the adoptees matured, their cognitive skills, including verbal ability, became more like those of their biological parents; thus, the study concluded that "environmental transmission from parent to offspring has little effect on later cognitive ability." Adopted siblings have, on average, an IQ score 4.4 points higher than the siblings who are reared by their biological parents and 3.18 point increase for half-siblings reared by their biological parents.
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