Botswana Notes and Records

Type Book Section - Child out-fostering and other factors influencing reproductive behaviour in Botswana's changing society
Title Botswana Notes and Records
Volume 31
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1999
Page numbers 135-142
The paper focuses on factors that affect reproductive behaviour in Botswana's changing society, with particular emphasis on the influence of child out-fostering. The data for this analysis come from the Botswana Family Health Survey 3 (BFHS 3) of 1996, when a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of 8483 women aged 15-49 years was interviewed in both urban and rural areas. The survey was designed to provide information on fertility, mortality, family planning, maternal and child health as well as information needed to explore factors influencing these basic demographic indicators, including child fostering. Multiple linear regression is the main analytical technique used. Contrary to numerous previous studies, it is an important finding of this paper that child out-fostering is negatively related to fertility in Botswana, a phenomenon different from that found in most African countries. Although this finding is unexpected, it is not implausible. It can be attributed to the changes in the socioeconomic and behavioural profile of women in Botswana, as well as the improvements in the socioeconomic institutions offering women alternatives to child-bearing and opportunities to pursue interests such as education and job opportunities outside home.

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