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Adopted children prosper in Iceland

Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, Associate Professor in Multicultural Studies Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, Associate Professor in Multicultural Studies

“Adopted children invariably get great support from their homes and they usually do well in school,” says Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, Associate Professor in Multicultural Studies, who is conducting a research with Elsa Sigríður Jónsdóttir on adopted children in Iceland; their experience of adapting and school careers.

The research began in 2005 and is ongoing. It started by examining families’ experience of adopting the children. “The children were adopted to Iceland in 2002 and 2004, all one years old at the time; ten children in each group,” says Ragnarsdóttir. They are currently speaking to the children themselves to monitor their experience of the schools; from kindergarten to elementary schools. The aim is thus to examine how they do in school, their social status and whether they meet any challenges. The research also focuses on their self identity and how the experience themselves in Icelandic community.

Ragnarsdóttir has studied the integration of Icelandic immigrants for the last 15 years. She had wanted to examine whether the experience of adopted children was similar to the experience of immigrant children and their families for some time now. “I went to a seminar in 2004 at the Icelandic Adoption Society to look into these matter and that was the inspiration for this study,” adds Ragnarsdóttir.

Ragnarsdóttir says that the families of adopted children are strong. Incidents concerning colour and origin have come up in school but they have been handled. Furthermore, the children are very open when it comes to their origins. “It will be interesting to continue observing these children - and the parents support the continuing of this study,” concludes Ragnarsdóttir.

 

Source: University of Iceland

http://english.hi.is/science/adopted_children_prosper_iceland

 

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