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Child adoption matching: preferences for gender and race

Felli, Leonardo, Baccara, Mariagiovanna, Collard-Wexler, Allan and Yariv, Leeat (2010) Child adoption matching: preferences for gender and race. NBER working paper series (16444). National Bureau of Economic Research, Massachusetts, USA.

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This paper uses a new data set on child-adoption matching to document the preferences of potential adoptive parents over U.S.-born and unborn children relinquished for adoption by their birth mothers. We show that adoptive parents exhibit significant preferences in favor of girls and against African- American children. A non-African-American child relinquished for adoption attracts the interest of potential adoptive parents with probability 11.5% if it is a girl and 7.9% if it is a boy. As for race, a non-African-American child has a probability of attracting the interest of an adopting parent at least seven times as high as the corresponding probability for an African-American child. In addition, we show that a child’s desirability in the adoption process depends significantly on time to birth (increasing over the pregnancy, but decreasing after birth) and on adoption costs. We also document the attitudes toward children’ characteristics across different categories of adoptive parents – heterosexual and same-sex couples, as well as single women and foreign couples. Finally, we consider several recently discussed policies excluding same-sex and foreign couples from the adoption process. In our data, such policies would reduce the number of adopted children by 6% and 33%, respectively, and have a disproportionate effect on African-American children.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 by Mariagiovanna Baccara, Allan Collard-Wexler, Leonardo Felli, and Leeat Yariv.
Divisions: Economics
Financial Markets Group
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory > C78 - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J15 - Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J16 - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2011 14:17
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:53

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