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Financial support of children involved in special needs adoption: A policy evaluation


  • Rosemary J. Avery
  • Daniel Mont


This article represents one of the first systematic analyses of state subsidy payments to families adopting children with special needs (children with physical and|or mental disabilities and children who are classified as hard-to-place). The analysis focuses on the monetary subsidies provided to adoptive parents of special needs children. It attempts to characterize variation in subsidy levels between counties and the impact of subsidy levels on a child's length of time until adoptive placement. The data set employed in the analysis was collected from primary sources and is one ofthe first available depositories of information on subsidy payments for special needs adoption. Results indicate that child and case characteristics explain a significant proportion of the variation in state adoption subsidy levels, but that a substantial proportion of between-county variation in subsidy levels remains unexplained. Subsidy level was not found to affect the adoption placement rate at the margin, except for children with mental disabilities. The policy implications of these results are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosemary J. Avery & Daniel Mont, 1992. "Financial support of children involved in special needs adoption: A policy evaluation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 419-441.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:11:y:1992:i:3:p:419-441
    DOI: 10.2307/3325070

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    Cited by:

    1. Hansen, Mary Eschelbach, 2008. "The distribution of a federal entitlement: The case of adoption assistance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2427-2442, December.
    2. Laura Argys & Brian Duncan, 2013. "Economic Incentives and Foster Child Adoption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 933-954, June.
    3. Mary Eschelbach Hansen, 2005. "Using Subsidies to Promote the Adoption of Children from Foster Care," Working Papers 2005-15, American University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mary Hansen, 2007. "Using Subsidies to Promote the Adoption of Children from Foster Care," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 377-393, September.
    5. Avery, Rosemary J., 1998. "Adoption assistance under P.L. 96-272: A policy analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 29-55.

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