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† E. The Health Benefits Of Adoption

Narrator: This is Science Today. Studies have found children who are permanently adopted tend to be in better health, both physically and emotionally, than those who remain in foster care. Social welfare expert Richard Barth of the University of California at Berkeley has been following children in foster care for six years..

Barth: More than 40 percent of children will experience four or five different families during that six year period, so that itís hard to imagine that living in four or five different families in a six year period for a young child can be good for their well being.

Narrator: And Barth says the problems of the unadopted extend well into adulthood since many of these children are in foster care until the age of eighteen, when funding stops.

Barth: And then you are truly on your own and if you face at that age some of the problems that all youth face of temporary housing, problems with insurance, problems with health care, accidents, other harms and you donít have a family to turn to, then things can get pretty desperate.

Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.