The Unknown Immigration: Incentives and Family Composition in Inter-Country Adoptions to the United States

39 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by Fernando A. Lozano

Fernando A. Lozano

Pomona College; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sherrie A. Kossoudji

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Children adopted from abroad are an immigrant group about which little is known. According to the U.S. Census more than one and a half million children living in the U.S. are adopted, with fifteen percent of them born abroad. In fact more than twenty thousand adopted orphans from abroad enter the country each year. The families who adopt these orphans are mostly white, wealthy, and well educated (Kossoudji, 2008). What are the characteristics of children who are adopted from abroad and what incentives drive families to adopt them? In this paper we use the 2000 census to illuminate the landscape of international adoption. We address three issues: 1) How do the demographic characteristics of the children adopted from abroad change as other countries open and shut the door to inter-country adoptions, changing the supply of available children? 2) U.S. born parents and foreign-born parents may have different incentives to adopt. How are these incentives reflected in the characteristics of the children they adopt? 3) What explains differences in the estimates of foreign-born adopted children in the Census and the number of visas granted by the State Department?

Keywords: immigrant children, international adoption

JEL Classification: J13, J12

Suggested Citation

Lozano, Fernando A. and Kossoudji, Sherrie A., The Unknown Immigration: Incentives and Family Composition in Inter-Country Adoptions to the United States. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4547, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501983

Fernando A. Lozano (Contact Author)

Pomona College ( email )

Claremont, CA 91711
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Sherrie A. Kossoudji

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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