Removing Barriers to U.S. Public Adoption: The Impact of Equal Legal Rights for Same-Sex Married Couples
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This study examines how the legal recognition of same--sex marriage and the conferment of federal legal rights to same--sex married couples equal to those of heterosexual married couples has affected U.S. public adoption rates by using the IRS federal recognition of same--sex married couples in 2014 combined with information in the 2015 same-sex married couples joint tax filing population within a difference-in-differences framework. Preliminary findings suggest that the IRS federal recognition of same--sex married couples has a small but significant effect on the number of children adoption and number of older children publicly adopted since 2014. While this study cannot directly distinguish whether public adoptions by same--sex married couple has increased post--2014 because of data limitations, it suggests that the provision of equal civic rights for same--sex married couples may have reduced discrimination in the public adoption market, which would restricts as well as dissuade individuals' access to or use of markets, providing a greater opportunity of adoption for children in the public foster care systems.