The Value of Adoption
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.
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- James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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