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The Value of Adoption

Author

Listed:
  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen

    () (Department of Economics, American University)

Abstract

The human services cost of adoption is about half the cost of long-term foster care for children whose birth parents’ rights have been terminated. Because adoption is an effective intervention for improving a variety of outcomes for those exposed to adverse childhood experiences, the total savings to government in areas such as special education and criminal justice is of the same magnitude as the child welfare savings. The private benefit to adopted children in terms of additional income earned over their working lives is similarly large. In all, a dollar spent on the adoption of a child from foster care yields about three dollars in benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen, 2006. "The Value of Adoption," Working Papers 2006-15, American University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:1506
    as

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    File URL: http://w.american.edu/cas/economics/repec/amu/workingpapers/1506.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adoption; adoption policy; cost-benefit analysis; foster care; net social benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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