Understanding Adoption Subsidies: An Analysis of AFCARS Data. Multivariate Analyses of Subsidy Receipt and Amount

01/01/2005

Multivariate analyses used AFCARS data to answer the following two research questions:

  1. What individual- and state-level characteristics are associated with whether a child receives an adoption subsidy?
  2. Among those children who received a subsidy, what individual- and state-level characteristics are associated with the amount of their subsidy?

The first question was addressed with a logistic regression analysis, since the outcome is a 0/1 binary variable indicating whether children adopted in FY 2001 received a subsidy. To answer the second question, analysts used multiple regression analysis, because the amount of the subsidy is a continuous variable ranging from $1 to $8,000 (the highest subsidy value) monthly. If the factors that determine subsidy receipt are different from those that determine subsidy amount, then the estimation requires a two-stage structural equation model. However, a two-stage model requires an explanatory variable in the first-stage equation that is not a predictor in the second stage. Since no such variable was identified, two separate equations were used. Because this approach may cause our estimation to be less efficient, explanatory variables that would have been statistically significant may not appear to be so.

Nearly all children in the 2001 adoption file (88 percent) received a subsidy. The sample size used to answer the first research question was 25,744. The sample size used to answer the second research question, including only those children who received a subsidy, was 22,150. Explanatory variables are considered statistically significantly at the p < 0.05 level of significance or better. Due to limitations in the data in four states (Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia), the analyses were limited to children in the remaining 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The equations used to answer both research questions contain the same explanatory variables and were modeled in two ways. All equations include individual level descriptive variables. In the first estimation (Models 1A and 2A, Table 3-10), two state-level descriptive variables are also included in the model. In the second estimation (Models 1B and 2B, Table 3-11), the state-level variables are replaced by dummy variables representing each of the states included in the study. Using two sets of estimations allows comparison of how variations in outcomes are explained by identified factors on the state level, as well as unexplained variations between states.

Table 3-10.
Logistic Regression Model Predicting Whether a Child Received an Adoption Subsidy
Model Parameter Model 1A Estimate Model 1B Estimate
Intercept -1.0295* -1.982
Age
Age at adoption 0.0701* 0.0753*
Child's race/ethnicity
Non-Hispanic black 0.0832 0.3927
Hispanic -0.3897* -0.00958
Non-Hispanic other -0.3306 -0.3756
Adoptive mother's race/ethnicity
Non-Hispanic black -0.1914 -0.38
Hispanic -0.3623* 0.0381
Non-Hispanic other 0.3561 0.3092
Pre-adoptive relationship
Other relative -0.1752* -0.1161
Nonrelative -0.8284* -0.6668*
IV-E adoption subsidy
IV-E eligible 6.5674* 7.2434*
Special needs
Special needs eligible 1.2482* 1.915*
Sex
Male 0.0103 -0.0156
Adoptive family's structure
Unmarried couple 0.0711 -0.079
Single family 0.1943* 0.0508
Single male 0.1797 -1.3859
Not applicable -1.4062* -1.5295*
Time to adoption
Median time for all children 0.00682*
Federal support
Percentage of adoption subsidy from feds 0.00104
State
Alabama   0.1509
Alaska   1.4291*
Arizona   0.4428
Arkansas   0.7793*
Colorado   1.4611*
Connecticut   -0.7861*
Delaware   2.5846*
DC   -1.4457*
Florida   -1.3263*
Georgia   -0.6851*
Hawaii   0.3058
Idaho   -0.3363
Illinois   1.292*
Indiana   -2.5103*
Iowa   0.5924*
Kansas   -0.8961*
Kentucky   0.1423
Louisiana   1.4243*
Maine   2.1589*
Maryland   1.9432*
Massachusetts   1.0468*
Michigan   2.9676*
Minnesota   3.5642*
Missouri   2.7189*
Montana   1.5048*
Nebraska   -0.8909
New Hampshire   -2.8706*
New Jersey   -0.541*
New Mexico   -2.8915*
North Carolina   1.2882*
North Dakota   0.0171
Ohio   -2.018*
Oklahoma   2.1246*
Oregon   1.8321*
Pennsylvania   0.1575
Rhode Island   16.319
South Carolina   15.7532
South Dakota   -2.3432*
Tennessee   0.5924*
Texas   -0.4756*
Utah   0.3707*
Vermont   -2.9594*
Virginia   1.8423*
Washington   0.6067*
Wisconsin   1.0289*
Wyoming   -0.5633
Puerto Rico   -2.6785*
Notes: Omitted categories include: child's race non-Hispanic white, mother's race non-Hispanic white foster care, not IV-E eligible, child not designated as special needs, female, adopted by married couple, state California. Excluded are children in Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia.

* P < 0.05.

Table 3-11.
Multiple Regression Model Predicting the Amount of the Adoption Subsidy
Model Parameter Model 2A Estimate Model 2B Estimate
Intercept 762.46547* 520.29808*
Age
Age at adoption 11.8756* 12.51003*
Child's race/ethnicity
Non-Hispanic black 48.06609 43.94241
Hispanic 13.88608 2.74035
Non-Hispanic other 16.19326 -12.54596
Adoptive mother's race/ethnicity
Non-Hispanic black -2.05671 7.64712
Hispanic -50.45312* -45.00671*
Non-Hispanic other 15.68435 -2.98261
Pre-adoptive relationship
Other relative -77.95191* -93.32551*
Nonrelative 13.20397 -8.16719
IV-E adoption subsidy
IV-E eligible 41.51744* 9.60062
Special needs
Special needs eligible -45.84947* 5.48014
Sex
Male 10.15852* 11.52742*
Adoptive family's structure
Unmarried couple 50.64906* 35.06718*
Single family 41.10579* 36.24887*
Single male -73.1697 -58.86626
Not applicable 44.61036 -10.18483
Time to adoption
Median time for all children 2.00327*  
Federal support
Percentage of adoption subsidy from feds -5.70384*  
State
Alabama   -386.34067*
Alaska   203.86941*
Arizona   -73.23307*
Arkansas   -188.1449*
Colorado   97.38257*
Connecticut   96.81203
Delaware   -142.28779*
DC   174.94671
Florida   -247.15927*
Georgia   -147.25584*
Hawaii   39.976
Idaho   -223.80525*
Illinois   -72.79573*
Indiana   -358.86858*
Iowa   211.99399*
Kansas   -303.17903*
Kentucky   38.32826
Louisiana   -283.45032*
Maine   204.5706*
Maryland   -35.95179
Massachusetts   -153.63138*
Michigan   72.3233*
Minnesota   -103.27779*
Missouri   -278.2044*
Montana   -203.80688*
Nebraska   189.72853
New Hampshire   -104.92855*
New Jersey   -104.32314*
New Mexico   -90.2626*
North Carolina   -233.72761*
North Dakota   -123.99448*
Ohio   -58.95866*
Oklahoma   -208.0152*
Oregon   -95.73414*
Pennsylvania   -156.93086*
Rhode Island   -56.29293*
South Carolina   -182.92044*
South Dakota   -200.65931*
Tennessee   -175.51452*
Texas   -80.06179*
Utah   -308.08123*
Vermont   66.61544*
Virginia   -244.81333*
Washington   68.5187*
Wisconsin   271.1299*
Wyoming   -228.97941*
Puerto Rico   -386.30636*
Notes: Omitted categories include child's race non-Hispanic white, mother's race non-Hispanic white, foster care, not IV-E eligible, child not designated as special needs, female, adopted by married couple, state California. Excluded are children in Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia.

* P < 0.05.

The explanatory variables included in all models describing the child are

  • age at adoption (0 to 17.99 years of age);
  • race/ethnicity categorized as non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, and other;
  • sex;
  • preadoptive relationship between the child and adopting parents, categorized as foster care, other (nonparental) relative or nonrelative (other than foster parents);
  • special needs status with respect to eligibility for IV-E adoption assistance (yes/no);
  • IV-E adoption assistance claimed for adoption subsidy (yes/no);
  • adopting mother's race/ethnicity, categorized as non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, and other; and
  • adopting family's structure categorized as married couple, unmarried couple, single female, single male, and not applicable.

The state-level explanatory variables included in Models 1A and 2A are as follows:

  • Median time from the most recent foster care entry to adoption, including all children in the AFCARS foster care file who exited foster care to adoption in FY 2001. While these should be the same children who were adopted during FY 2001, it is not possible to link individual entries in the foster care and adoption files. Because this information is not available for individual children in the adoption file, the state-level aggregate is used in the model.
  • Federal share of subsidies for children receiving adoption assistance under Title IV-E, the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for FY2001 (DHHS, 2000).

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