Friday, May 21, 2010

Discount Babies

That's the title of a piece in the Economist about price sensitivity in adoption:
The market is not politically correct. It often assigns lower values to humans (their wages) based on their race or sex, even after controlling for education and experience. It's just as cruel to children. A few years ago I was disturbed to learn that it's cheaper to adopt black American children than white. I recently had lunch with NYU Stern School economist Allan Collard-Wexler, who has estimated adoption price sensitivity. He found just how much adoption fees are sensitive to the race and gender of a baby. It’s about $8,000 cheaper to adopt a black baby than a white or Hispanic child and girls tend to cost about $2,000 more than boys.
They're talking about that same study that came out last month about adoptive parents preferring non-black, girls. But it is interesting to hear the Economist's market take on it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is still true, but years ago, in Kazakhstan's international adoption program, I've read that the cost of adopting an ethnic minority baby was less than adopting a white baby.

Does the cost difference in the U.S. have anything to do with racial differences in kids who are adopted via foster care vs. private adoptions or adoption agencies? I can see how that would make a difference.

If it is the same agency or same sending country varying the cost of adoption for different racial groups, that is bad. It really illustrates, though, how supply and demand can operate in adoption, unfortunately.

Sue (aka anonymous)