Friday, March 5, 2010

Matching for adoption

"In most cases, a successful domestic adoption is the result of a match between a birth mother (BMO hereafter) who seeks to relinquish her child, and prospective adoptive parents (PAPs hereafter). The underlying matching process involves a bilateral search characterized by several layers of mediation: Typically, adoption agencies represent BMOs, while PAPs work vis-à-vis adoption agencies, lawyers, or facilitators. In this paper, we exploit the unique nature of a new data set documenting the operations of an adoption facilitator. We analyze the preferences of PAPs over the attributes of babies relinquished for adoption, the BMOs’ choices, and the factors that determine ultimate outcomes (i.e., a successful adoption, a decision to parent by the BMO, or the child’s placement in foster care).

That is from the paper Gender and Racial Biases: Evidence from Child Adoption, by Mariagiovanna Baccara , Allan Collard-Wexler, Leonardo Felli , and Leeat Yariv.

The paper has a market design aspect:
"Despite the social value of a well-functioning matching process that delivers suitable parents to every child, adoption has not received much attention by the economics literature. Our analysis of parents’ preferences, combined with the identification of factors facilitating an ultimate match, opens the door to policy interventions aimed at increasing the efficiency of this process."

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