Child-Adoption Matching: Preferences for Gender and Race

M.Baccara, A. Collard-Wexler, L.Felli and L.Yariv


This paper uses a new data set on child-adoption matching to estimate the preferences of potential adoptive parents over U.S.-born and unborn children relinquished for adoption. We identify significant preferences favoring girls and unborn children close to birth, and against African-American children put up for adoption. These attitudes vary in magnitudes across different adoptive parents -- heterosexual, same-sex couples, and single women. We consider the effects of excluding single women and same-sex couples from the process, and find that this would substantially reduce the overall number of adopted children. Finally, we show that a centralized matching process would greatly increase the number of matches.