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A Nationally Representative Comparison of Black and White Adoptive Parents of Black Children

Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP2017-10
Rose M. Kreider and Elizabeth Raleigh
Component ID: #ti856276981

Introduction

Using American Community Survey 5-year data, this paper provides a demographic profile of Black adoptive parents. Our research questions focus on providing a nationally representative  profile of White, non-Hispanic and Black adoptive parents of Black children. In the descriptive table, we also show a third group of parents--White parents who have a spouse who is other than White. In addition to the descriptive analysis, we also run logistic regression models predicting whether adoptive parents of Black children are White or Black. While those of other races adopt Black children, we exclude these groups since we expect they will be too small to be meaningful in the context of controlling for multiple characteristics of the parent/family in this analysis. The models are not causal, but allow us to see which characteristics are more common for Black adoptive parents compared with White. In line with national trends on racial disparities, on average, Black adoptive parents are less likely to be highly educated, own their homes, or be in the labor force. They are also more likely to be raising children as single mothers and more than a quarter (28 percent) of Black adoptive parents live below the poverty line. These results suggest that on average, Black adoptive parents may not traverse the same pathway to adoption as many White adoptive parents. Given Black families’ lower average socioeconomic status, it is likely that fewer of these parents utilized private adoption, which is much more expensive than public foster care adoption.

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