Adoption: A Strategy to Fulfill Sex Preferences of U.S. Parents

Ashley Larsen Gibby, Kevin J. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: This article examines adoption as a strategy used by parents in the United States to fulfill their preference for a specific sex composition among their children. Background: Evidence from the United States suggests that parents with children of the same sex are more likely to continue childbearing, as parents generally desire at least one girl and one boy. What is unknown, however, is whether parents use adoption to fulfill this same preference. Method: Using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (n = 1,107,800 children), the authors test the relationships among the sex composition of preceding siblings, child sex, and adoption status. Results: Children who had same-sex preceding siblings were more likely to be adopted, as opposed to biologically related to their parents, than children who had mixed-sex preceding siblings. Furthermore, adopted children were more likely to be of the missing sex (i.e., adopted girls were more likely than were adopted boys to have only preceding brothers). Conclusion: These findings suggest a need to consider parental sex preferences and child sex in studies on adoption decisions. Furthermore, the results point to adoption as an additional mechanism parents can use to achieve a balanced sex composition among their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-541
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Fingerprint

parents
adopted child
community
evidence
Siblings

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

@article{0f776a22454844d594423867aecda3c5,
title = "Adoption: A Strategy to Fulfill Sex Preferences of U.S. Parents",
abstract = "Objective: This article examines adoption as a strategy used by parents in the United States to fulfill their preference for a specific sex composition among their children. Background: Evidence from the United States suggests that parents with children of the same sex are more likely to continue childbearing, as parents generally desire at least one girl and one boy. What is unknown, however, is whether parents use adoption to fulfill this same preference. Method: Using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (n = 1,107,800 children), the authors test the relationships among the sex composition of preceding siblings, child sex, and adoption status. Results: Children who had same-sex preceding siblings were more likely to be adopted, as opposed to biologically related to their parents, than children who had mixed-sex preceding siblings. Furthermore, adopted children were more likely to be of the missing sex (i.e., adopted girls were more likely than were adopted boys to have only preceding brothers). Conclusion: These findings suggest a need to consider parental sex preferences and child sex in studies on adoption decisions. Furthermore, the results point to adoption as an additional mechanism parents can use to achieve a balanced sex composition among their children.",
author = "{Larsen Gibby}, Ashley and Thomas, {Kevin J.}",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jomf.12541",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "81",
pages = "531--541",
journal = "Journal of Marriage and Family",
issn = "0022-2445",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

Adoption : A Strategy to Fulfill Sex Preferences of U.S. Parents. / Larsen Gibby, Ashley; Thomas, Kevin J.

In: Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 81, No. 2, 01.04.2019, p. 531-541.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adoption

T2 - A Strategy to Fulfill Sex Preferences of U.S. Parents

AU - Larsen Gibby, Ashley

AU - Thomas, Kevin J.

PY - 2019/4/1

Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - Objective: This article examines adoption as a strategy used by parents in the United States to fulfill their preference for a specific sex composition among their children. Background: Evidence from the United States suggests that parents with children of the same sex are more likely to continue childbearing, as parents generally desire at least one girl and one boy. What is unknown, however, is whether parents use adoption to fulfill this same preference. Method: Using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (n = 1,107,800 children), the authors test the relationships among the sex composition of preceding siblings, child sex, and adoption status. Results: Children who had same-sex preceding siblings were more likely to be adopted, as opposed to biologically related to their parents, than children who had mixed-sex preceding siblings. Furthermore, adopted children were more likely to be of the missing sex (i.e., adopted girls were more likely than were adopted boys to have only preceding brothers). Conclusion: These findings suggest a need to consider parental sex preferences and child sex in studies on adoption decisions. Furthermore, the results point to adoption as an additional mechanism parents can use to achieve a balanced sex composition among their children.

AB - Objective: This article examines adoption as a strategy used by parents in the United States to fulfill their preference for a specific sex composition among their children. Background: Evidence from the United States suggests that parents with children of the same sex are more likely to continue childbearing, as parents generally desire at least one girl and one boy. What is unknown, however, is whether parents use adoption to fulfill this same preference. Method: Using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (n = 1,107,800 children), the authors test the relationships among the sex composition of preceding siblings, child sex, and adoption status. Results: Children who had same-sex preceding siblings were more likely to be adopted, as opposed to biologically related to their parents, than children who had mixed-sex preceding siblings. Furthermore, adopted children were more likely to be of the missing sex (i.e., adopted girls were more likely than were adopted boys to have only preceding brothers). Conclusion: These findings suggest a need to consider parental sex preferences and child sex in studies on adoption decisions. Furthermore, the results point to adoption as an additional mechanism parents can use to achieve a balanced sex composition among their children.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85055564205&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85055564205&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/jomf.12541

DO - 10.1111/jomf.12541

M3 - Article

C2 - 31105334

AN - SCOPUS:85055564205

VL - 81

SP - 531

EP - 541

JO - Journal of Marriage and Family

JF - Journal of Marriage and Family

SN - 0022-2445

IS - 2

ER -