Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
As a growing number of Hispanic families choose to have fewer children, the rate of babies born to Hispanic and Latina woman has declined shortly in recent years, a new report from the Pew Research Center has found. The New York Times has more:
Both immigrant and native-born Latinas had steeper birthrate declines from 2007 to 2010 than other groups, including non-Hispanic whites, blacks and Asians, a drop some demographers and sociologists attribute to changes in the views of many Hispanic women about motherhood.
As a result, in 2011, the American birthrate hit a record low, with 63 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, led by the decline in births to immigrant women. The national birthrate is now about half what it was during the baby boom years, when it peaked in 1957 at 122.7 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age.
The decline in birthrates was steepest among Mexican-American women and women who immigrated from Mexico, at 25.7 percent. This has reversed a trend in which immigrant mothers accounted for a rising share of births in the United States, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center. In 2010, birthrates among all Hispanics reached their lowest level in 20 years, the center found.
The sudden drop-off, which coincided with the onset of the recession, suggests that attitudes have changed since the days when older generations of Latinos prized large families and more closely followed Roman Catholic teachings, which forbid artificial contraception.
Image: Hispanic mother and children, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
More Latino families are adopting children or caring for foster children, showing a steady increase each of the past 8 years, a new report has found. More than 15 percent of of all American public agency adoptions were made by Hispanic families in 2010, the report said. NBC Latino reports on the findings, and on the ongoing need for more Latino families to get involved in adoption or foster care:
Latinos have a long history of stepping in when close relatives are not able to raise their child. The AdoptUsKids report described this arrangement as an “informal open adoption.” When agencies make the effort to understand the culture, they are able to help Latinos appreciate the legal option of becoming foster parents. As a result, agencies have found more Latinos are now seeking to make families in formal ways, through adoption. In addition, newcomers who have established themselves in the Unites States try to abide by the system as they understand the rules of the new culture, says Victoria Cerda, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Resource Association (CARAS).
Advocates for children hope more Latinos consider becoming foster parents or adopting, since recent statistics show an alarming trend. The number of Latino children entering foster care is larger than the number of qualified families who share their language and cultural identity. A factsheet produced by the Casey Latino Leadership Group shows the number of Latino children in the system more than doubled in the past two decades and is likely to continue rising.
The 2010 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System report found that over 84,000 in the foster care system were Latino children – yet only 11,000 were adopted. This has led to ongoing campaigns to recruit more Latino families who are in the position to answer this call from children waiting to be taken in.
Deportation laws also contribute to the growth of Latino children in the foster care system. An investigation of ColorLines – News For Action in November 2011 reported that approximately 5,000 U.S citizen children are in foster care following the detention or deportation of their parents.
“It is estimated that 15,000 other children will be at risk of permanent separation from their families in the next four to five years,” says Cerda.
Child advocates say a familiar language and culture can greatly reduce childhood trauma experienced when children are removed from their birth homes. “Latinos value the importance of ‘taking care of our own’ and strongly believe they are taking care of their community by adopting,” says Quintanilla. “Latinos are a valuable resource.” There are countless benefits when an adopted foster child does not lose his or her cultural identity and is “proud to be Latino,” says Kendra Morris-Jacobson, Director of Oregon Programs for Northwest Resource Associates.
Image: Latina woman and child, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, September 26th, 2011
Latino children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) about half as often than white or African American children, data analysis by federal researchers has found. From The Boston Globe:
Statistics released this year by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly 3.9 percent of Latino children over the past decade were reported by their parents to have been diagnosed with ADHD, compared with 7.8 percent among white children and 6.3 percent among black children. Another major federal study, analyzing the most current data, from 2007, found a typical American child has a 9.5 percent chance of ever being diagnosed with ADHD, but the rate for Latino children was 5.6 percent.
The reason for the discrepancy is a subject for debate among researchers, clinicians, and educators. Some say that a cultural stigma around mental health issues, or cultural tolerance of some of ADHD’s hallmark symptoms, such as high activity level, mean fewer diagnoses for Latino families. Also, as the Globe reports:
Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, said she believes a lack of awareness of ADHD largely explains the low diagnosis rates among Latino children. She added, however, that some Latino families have a wait-and-see attitude with troubled children and rely heavily on family interventions. She said that newly arrived Hispanic immigrants, despite higher poverty rates, often display signs of strong mental health, largely due to stronger family, community, and religious ties.
Nonetheless, she said, cultural stigma against mental conditions persists, and she is pushing for more awareness of ADHD in the Latino community. She said diagnosis is often not easy, requiring a range of input from family, teachers, and clinicians.
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“It’s not like diagnosing a broken leg,’’ Delgado said.