The number of children adopted has declined since 1970, suggesting that the pool of children available had decreased. Adoption by relatives remains almost constant, and currently represents the majority of adoptions. As a result, adoption by unrelated petitioners decreased proportionately. The tendency for children to be adopted by relatives in greater proportion than in the past may be attributed to the fact that more women are choosing to abort, leaving fewer children to be adopted by unrelated petitioners. The influence of abortion on reducing the numbers of children available for adoption does not account for the entire drop in supply; the growing propensity of unwed mothers to keep their babies is also a factor. Social-psychological correlates of unmarried mothers who keep their babies indicate that major predictors of that decision are low socioeconomic status, little education, religion, older age, and an insecure psychological profile.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.