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Survey of Holt Adoptees and Their Families, 2005 (ICPSR 4637)

Principal Investigator(s): Sacerdote, Bruce, Dartmouth College, and National Bureau of Economic Research


This study, conducted January 2004 to June 2006, was undertaken to assess the health status, educational attainment, and income of adult Korean-American adoptees and their adoptive families. The study focused on families who adopted a Korean-American child through Holt International Children's Services from 1970 to 1980. The principal investigator hoped to identify the effects of large-scale changes in family environment on children's outcomes using data on adults who were adopted in infancy. Korean-American adoptees placed through Holt International Children's Services had been quasi-randomly assigned to these families in infancy using a queuing (first-come, first-served) policy. One adoptive parent from each family was surveyed, as well as a small subset of adult adoptees, and each case represented an adopted or non-adopted child in the family. Adoptive parents were asked to give their age, sex, marital status, occupation, education level, household income, height, weight, tobacco and alcohol usage, and the number of children they had. Adoptive parents also gave information on their adopted and non-adopted children's age, sex, marital status, education level, income, weight, height, undergraduate institution, number of children, and whether their children smoked, drank alcohol, or had asthma. For adopted children, parents gave the arrival age of the child and whether the child was adopted through Holt International. Adoptive parents also indicated whether they were aware of and had used services such as workshops and referral services offered by Holt. Since the survey relied on parent reports of their adult children's outcomes, surveys were also sent to a small subset of adoptees. Their surveys included the same questions asked of their adoptive parents, as well as the adoptee's value of assets, religion, and frequency of religious attendance. The study also contained information on adoptees' birth parents obtained from Holt International's administrative records and constructed variables that analyzed household composition, population characteristics, and the education and health status of the adoptive family.

Access Notes

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Survey of Holt Adoptees and Their Families, 2005, Dataset 0001 - Download All Files (34.224 MB)
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Study Description


Sacerdote, Bruce. Survey of Holt Adoptees and Their Families, 2005. ICPSR04637-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-03-26.

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF-0317224)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    adopted children, adoption, adoptive parents, Asian Americans, demographic characteristics, educational background, educational trends, family background, family size, health status, household composition

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2005

Date of Collection:   

  • 2004-01--2006-06

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    The adoptive families of Korean-American children who were placed as infants by Holt International Children's Services from 1970 to 1980.

Data Type(s):    survey data, administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The original data file was received by ICPSR in Stata format and was converted to SPSS format using the GET STATA command. For this reason, variable names were shortened to a length of eight characters. (2) Value labels for unknown codes were added in several variables. (3) To protect respondent confidentiality, employer names were removed from values in the variable OCCCURRE. (4) Values relating to the birth years of child respondents in variable YEARBIRT were transferred to variable CHILDBYE, per instructions from the principal investigator. (5) Variables GENDER through IND_TR_H contain survey responses from child respondents. (6) The formats of several variables were adjusted to fit the width of the values present in them. (7) Variables MOTHERSY, BIRTHM_A, and BIRTHM_B were converted from character to numeric. (8) According to the principal investigator, the variable WEIGHTER was the inverse of the estimated probability of response from a probit of response on parental characteristics. (9) Because of the anonymity of the mail-in surveys, 31 of the child respondents were unable to be linked with their original families. For this reason, 31 records were missing data on the child's adoptive parents and likely contain duplicate information about that child in another record. (10) According to the principal investigator, the asterisks found in the variable labels of constructed variables denote multiplication. (11) The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis.


Sample:    A mail-in survey was sent to a random sample of families who had adopted a child through Holt International's Korea program from 1970 to 1980.

Mode of Data Collection:    mail questionnaire

Response Rates:    There was an overall response rate of 27 percent.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.


Original ICPSR Release:   2007-03-26

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