Examining the effects of antidiscrimination laws on children in the foster care and adoption systems

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2022/11/21 19:29
Machine Learning
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Netta Barak‐Corren Yoav Kan‐Tor and Nelson Tebbe
How are children affected when states prohibit child welfare agencies from discriminating against same‐sex couples who wish to foster or adopt? This question stands at the heart of a debate between governments that seek to impose such antidiscrimination requirements and child welfare agencies that challenge them on religious freedom grounds. Yet until now there has been no reliable evidence on whether and how antidiscrimination rules for these agencies impact children. We have conducted the first nationwide study of how child outcomes vary when states adopt such antidiscrimination rules for child welfare agencies. Analyzing 20 years of child welfare data (2000–2019) we estimate that state antidiscrimination rules both (1) modestly increase childrens success at finding foster and permanent homes and (2) greatly reduce the average time to place children in such homes. These effects vary among subgroups such that children who are most likely to find a home are generally not affected by state antidiscrimination requirements whereas children who are least likely to find a home (primarily older children and children with various disabilities) benefit substantially from antidiscrimination measures. We estimate that the effect of antidiscrimination rules is equivalent to 15525 additional children finding permanent homes and 360000 additional children finding foster homes nationwide over a period of 20 years. Overall the project offers two key contributions: First it provides empirica
Year Published
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 2022 vol. 19 issue 4 1003-1066