The stated purpose of this project:
The purpose of the CAP is to study both nature and nurture, to determine the genetic predispositions as well as the environmental influences that contribute to traits such as intelligence, personality, and behavior.
The Colorado Adoption Project (“CAP”) is beginning its 31st year, and is therefore one of the longest running such studies in the United States.
When I first began to study adoption during reunion, I kept discovering what I perceived to be amazing revelations. My notable discoveries turned out to be not as unknown as they appeared to me at first blush. After awhile,I eventually reached the conclusion that there was a great deal of information available, but I just had not known about it. I remember thinking after various discoveries, “someone should write a book about this,” then I discovered that someone already had. It was difficult for me to comprehend that with all that had been learned, so little had changed.
Unfortunately, all the research in the world will not be useful unless we start paying attention to it, and making some broad changes in adoption practices and counseling pregnant women. For instance, there is enough research to suggest the harm that closed adoptions cause and yet, we continue on to sanction them. We justify closed adoptions partially by saying that, “open adoptions aren’t for everyone,” and that we need choices. Personally, I think that is a cop-out. I know there are rare instances that closed adoptions are needed, but, in most cases, the secrecy is unnecessary.
On the CAP website, they state that over 150 articles have been published in various scientific journals using their data. I intend to read up on some of their research and report back on it later. Below is one conclusion reached from their research so far:
Adopted children resemble their adoptive parents slightly in early childhood but not at all in middle childhood or adolescence. In contrast, during childhood and adolescence, adopted children become more like their biological parents and to the same degree as children and parents in nonadoptive families.
The quote above is from a paper which resulted from this study called “Nature, nurture, and cognitive development from 1-16 years: A parent-offspring adoption study.” It was published in 1997 in a journal called Psychological Science.