Using Subsidies to Promote the Adoption of Children from Foster Care
Working Paper No. 2005-15. 46 pages.
Since 1980 the federal government has implemented a variety of programs to promote the adoption of children from foster care. A key part of these programs has been the use of subsidies to lower the cost of adopting and parenting children from foster care. Although subsidies are a key part of federal policy there has been relatively little empirical research on the effect of subsidies on adoption rates. This paper uses data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis System to estimate the impact of subsidy rates on adoption rates. Subsidies to families that adopt children from foster care have a positive and statistically significant effect on adoption rates. A one percent increase in average subsidies increases adoption rates by as much as 0.20 percent.