Child Placement Decisions: The Relevance of Facial Resemblance and Biological Relationships
David J. Herring
University of Pittsburgh - School of Law
Jurimetrics, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2003
This article discusses two studies of evolution and human behavior addressing child-adult relationships and explores implications for policies and practices surrounding placement of children in foster homes. The first study indicates that men favor children whose facial features resemble their own facial features. This study may justify public child welfare decisionmakers in considering facial resemblance as they attempt to place children in safe foster homes.
The second study indicates that parents are likely to invest more in children who are biologically related to them, thus enhancing their long term well-being. Among other implications, this study may justify public child welfare decisionmakers in attempting to preserve biological families and avoid the removal of children from biological parents. It may also justify maintaining contact between biological parents and children even if removal is necessary.
Although this article recognizes that the studies do not provide for comprehensive decisionmaking rules, the article articulates how the studies can be used to incrementally construct, test, and improve policies and practices in a specific area of public activity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: : Juveniles, Law and Society, Human Behavior, Family Law, Behavioral Biology
JEL Classification: K10, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 2, 2007
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