The Value Added Effects of Adoption Policy on Adoption Outcomes
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In this context, our aim is to understand the extent to which state adoption laws affect the timing and likelihood of adoption. For timing, we are interested in how soon after a child enters foster care he or she is adopted; for likelihood, we are interested in whether adoptions occur (i.e., out of every hundred children who enter foster care what fraction goes on to be adopted?). We separate timing and likelihood because policy often targets one, the other or both outcomes. For example, federal adoption reforms in the early 1980s provided fiscal incentives to states to increase the likelihood of adoption among hard-to-adopt foster children. More recently, by adjusting decision thresholds at the child level, federal law has targeted when adoption processes may start.
To carry out the work, we bring together two critical strands of research. With respect to legal analysis, we examine the flow through of federal statutory requirements into state adoption policy. From these data, we identify strong and weak adoption policy configurations. The second strand uses state administrative data to study the timing and likelihood of adoption over a 10-year period. Using a three level mixed effects model to control for person and contextual factors, we establish the extent to which strong adoption policy states exhibit adoption processes that differ from those found in weak policy states.
- Adoption policy version 4.pdf (378.7KB)