Race and Market Values in Domestic Infant Adoption
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In the realm of adoption in the United States, the demand for white1 infants exceeds their supply (Spar, 2006). The laws regulating private adoption grant agencies much discretion in how they set fees, and a significant number of agencies charge prospective adoptive parents a higher fee to adopt a white infant than to adopt a Black infant (Goodwin, 2006). Fees for infants of other races are either in an intermediate range or the same as those for white infants (Quiroz, 2007). Agencies that employ race-based pricing sometimes defend the practice on the ground that it is necessary to ensure the timely adoption of Black children.2 Yet race-based pricing problematically instantiates historical notions of Black inferiority and may not serve the best interests of adopted children. This chapter suggests that because less stigmatizing means are available to agencies to ensure that children in their custody are adopted, agencies could end their use of race-based pricing without sacrificing their child-welfare mission.
KeywordsFoster Care Black Child Adoptive Parent Birth Parent Adoptive Family
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