Black babies cost less to adoptRecently, NPR’s The Race Card Project highlighted a startling practice. When it comes adopting a child, African-American infants cost less to adopt.

Adopting a child can be an emotionally draining and costly process. People can spend thousands of dollars on medical costs, and legal and agency fees. But according to NPR’s The Race Card Project, race (and even skin color) can play a critical role in cost of adoption.

The Race Card Project asks listeners to share six word stories about race in America, and one caught them off guard: “Black babies cost less to adopt.”

Other entries, like that of Caryn Lantz, illustrated how the cost of adopting a child fluctuates based on race.

After being informed that African-American babies were “cheaper” than biracial, Hispanic, or White babies, Lantz was disturbed.

“I remember hearing this and just sort of being dumbfounded that they would sort of segregate — to use a loaded term — segregate these children by ethnic background before they were even in this world,” Lantz told NPR.

The cost? Lantz was quoted fees of approximately $35,000 for a Caucasian infant, $18,000 for a “full African-American” girl, and between $24,000 to $26,000 for a biracial child.

While many state agencies use an income-based scale adoption, many couples who are desperate to adopt often turn to private agencies—some who use race-based pricing–to help them facilitate the process.

NPR reports:

Non-white children, and black children, in particular, are harder to place in adoptive homes, Norris says. So the cost is adjusted to provide an incentive for families that might otherwise be locked out of adoption due to cost, as well as “for families who really have to, maybe have a little bit of prodding to think about adopting across racial lines.”

In other words, Norris explains, there are often altruistic reasons for the discrepancy — “but people who work in adoption say there’s one more reason, quite simply: It’s supply and demand.”

The fees typically cover administrative costs, but also costs associated with taking care of the mother, like travel, rent, health care and counseling services. Now, some states and agencies are using a different formula to make adoption more affordable for families, with a sliding scale based on income rather than skin color. In that system, lower-income families pay less to adopt. Some agencies are also moving toward a uniform cost system where all adoptive parents would pay the same fees.

With over 100,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted, the majority of whom are not White, it’s not clear whether or not race-based adoption pricing merely reinforces the notion that White babies are somehow more valuable than others, or will actually encourage more couples to open their doors to children of color.

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  • Nicoline

    Adoption is a business.

    In business if you have a surplus of something thats not in big demand you lower the price.
    Sad but true!

  • Guest

    I’m sorry but why are black women acting stupid? Like they don’t know the reason why there are so many black kids in the foster care system? Can we stop being politically correct for a second and face reality please?

    The black “community” (there is no community) have the highest rate of out of wedlock children.
    You have black males who don’t want to marry and create a stable community for black women and children….and as you know, a community that doesn’t value its women and children is a dead community.

    So what should you do? What should black women do? Rush out and adopt and foster these poor black children?
    What you should do is jump ship and save yourself and your legacy and lineage.
    Marry and create families with men who value YOU as an individual because the black card is dead. The black community does not exist.
    A community where only 50% of its members contribute is not enough.
    Black males are killing black women and children, and even each other! You need to stop thinking about people who have made it clear they hate you. Enough with this PC B.S, it’s time for black women to wake up!

  • Geez lady

    Older children are even less expensive & easier to acquire. I’m not even sure that I’d want a “baby” since so many babies have autism these days & other health issues. It takes a while for some of the issues to show up. So adopting an older child is preferable, and less expensive. Why more black folks don’t adopt is baffling to me since most of the children in the system are black. Check out adoption.com to see what children are available in your state.

  • Mademoiselle

    & Geez Lady
    It’s not true that most of the kids in the system are black. Black kids only make up between 20% and 25% of kids waiting to be adopted.