Florida s ban on gay adoption a cost benefit analysis
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Florida’s Ban on Gay Adoption A Cost/Benefit Analysis. Florida’s Ban on Gay Adoption: A Cost/Benefit Analysis. By: Christopher W. Blackwell, MSN, PhD(c), ARNP Visiting Instructor, School of Nursing Candidate for the PhD in Public Affairs College of Health & Public Affairs

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Florida’s Ban on Gay Adoption A Cost/Benefit Analysis

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Florida s ban on gay adoption a cost benefit analysis

Florida’s Ban on Gay AdoptionA Cost/Benefit Analysis

Florida’s Ban on Gay Adoption:A Cost/Benefit Analysis

By:

Christopher W. Blackwell, MSN, PhD(c), ARNP

Visiting Instructor, School of Nursing

Candidate for the PhD in Public Affairs

College of Health & Public Affairs

University of Central Florida

By:

Christopher W. Blackwell, MSN, PhD(c), ARNP

Visiting Instructor, School of Nursing

Candidate for the PhD in Public Affairs

College of Health & Public Affairs

University of Central Florida


Introduction

Introduction

  • Currently 35,656 Children in Florida’s Foster Care System (Children’s Defense Fund, 2003).

  • Many states are easing the burden of child placements by lowering restrictions on placements by race/ethnicity.

  • Some state agencies have stopped considering sexual orientation in their placement criteria (Brooks & Goldber, 2001).


Introduction1

Introduction

  • The Florida State Legislature enacted Florida’s ban on gay adoptions in 1977.

  • Conservatives support the ban while the gay community brands the ban as discriminatory, homophobic, and heterosexist (Canedy, 2002).

  • Florida is 1 of 3 states which outlaw adoptions by homosexuals.


Introduction2

Introduction

  • This Examination will Include:

  • Literature Review and Synthesis: Empirical Research Exploring Gay Parents and Gay Adoptive Parents;

  • Policy Positions of major Pediatric and Psychiatric Organizations.

  • Comprehensive Cost/Benefit Analysis.


Literature review

Literature Review

  • Social science research with gay populations is difficult (Heckathorn, 2004), secondary to fear of discrimination, social stigma, and heterosexism among gay individuals.

  • Literature examining child rearing by homosexuals although in existence, is very scarce (Sigenthaler & Bigner, 2000).


Literature review1

Literature Review

  • Scallen published his groundbreaking study comparing child-rearing practices among gay fathers and heterosexual fathers in 1981.

  • Very small sample size (n = 20 in each group).

  • Overall, fathering behaviors were very similar:

  • No statistical difference among paternal problem solving, emphasis placed on recreation; and the degree to which autonomy was encouraged.


Literature review2

Literature Review

  • Scallen (1981) Conclusions:

  • Statistically Significant Differences:

  • Gay fathers were more likely to endorse paternal nurturance, were less likely to emphasize economics as a central aspect of fathering, and were somewhat less traditional in the fathering approaches.


Literature review3

Literature Review

  • Bigner & Jacobson (1989) completed a meta-analysis on studies examining gay parents and compared a sample of heterosexual and homosexual mothers and fathers.

  • Overall, not much statistical difference in responses to hypothetical situations between heterosexual and homosexual fathers.

  • Gay fathers had a much greater concentration on the psychological investment of fathering and also gave a more positive self-assessment of their accomplishments as fathers.


Literature review4

Literature Review

  • Bigner & Jacobson (1989) found lesbian mothers to be statistically comparable to heterosexual mothers as child oriented, warm, confident, nurturing, and responsive to children’s needs.

  • Statistically significant, lesbians were more concerned with ensuring their children had contact with positive male role models.


Literature review5

Literature Review

  • Dispelling stereotypes, Bigner & Jacobson found NO studies correlating:

  • Sexual orientation of parents and children (8% among homosexual and heterosexual parents);

  • Sexual orientation and abnormal gender identity or gender-role behaviors;

  • Sexual orientation and propensity to abuse or sexually exploit children.


Literature review6

Literature Review

  • Siegenthaler & Bigner (2000) studied motivational differences to mother between heterosexual and homosexual mothers.

  • Used the VOC Scale to gauge motivation based on 1) adult status and social identity; 2) expansion of self; 3) morality; 4) primary group ties; 5) stimulation; 6) novelty; 7) fun; 8) social comparison, economic utility, and competition.


Literature review7

Literature Review

  • Siegenthaler & Bigner (2000) Conclusions:

  • Only significant difference between the two groups: Adult-related goals and incentives for having children.

  • Lesbians cited a significantly higher motivation based on the basic want to mother while heterosexual mothers cited more societal and peer-related factors in the decision.


Literature review8

Literature Review

  • Siegenthaler & Bigner (2000) Conclusions:

  • Heterosexism in society could contribute to a difference in goal-setting behavior between the two groups.

  • Overall, findings between the two groups were very similar.


Literature review9

Literature Review

  • Brooks and Goldberg (2001) researched both gay adoptive parents and the adoption system’s response to homosexual adoption.

  • Found gay parents were:

  • more willing to adopt children with special needs;

  • psychologically stable;

  • sensitive;

  • financially secure;

  • highly resourceful;

  • Also found to have statistically significant overall higher levels of education;

  • Possessed strong support systems.


Literature review10

Literature Review

  • Brooks and Goldberg (2001) indicated a high level of homophobia among social workers in the adoptive agencies surveyed.

  • Placements with homosexuals were somewhat hesitant secondary to an uncertainty about the effect of placements with gay men and lesbians on children’s adjustment and well-being,

  • Ryan (2000) had also supported similar findings of homophobia and lack of knowledge regarding studies of the efficacy of gay and lesbian parents.


Literature review11

Literature Review

  • Professional Organization Positions:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) fully supports legal recognition of adoption by homosexuals (2002).

  • AAP recommendation based on the recognition that “a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations of health, adjustment, and development of as can children whose parents are heterosexual” (p. 339-340).


Literature review12

Literature Review

  • Dr. Charlotte Patterson (1995) of the American Psychological Association (APA) researched gay parenting and adoption extensively to reaffirm the APA’s 1977 position (Conger, 1977):

  • “The sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation of natural, or prospective adoptive parents or foster parents should not be the sole or primary variable considered in custody placements” (p. 432).

  • Patterson’s conclusions mirror those of the studies reviewed.

  • Suggested that future research should concentrate more on gay fathers and there is a great need for longitudinal data.


Cost benefit analysis

Cost/Benefit Analysis

  • Purpose:

  • Compare the actual monetary benefits of keeping the ban with the actual monetary benefits of lifting the ban.


Proposed benefits of allowing gays to adopt

Proposed Benefits of Allowing Gays to Adopt

  • 1) the fiscal benefits of allowing homosexuals to adopt children (the saving of funds dedicated to keeping children in foster care and under the care of the Department of Children and Families);

  • 2) the psychological/psychosocial benefits afforded to adopted children who will be living in a DCF-approved home instead of the foster care system or other DCF facility;

  • 3) the benefits afforded to gay men and women of the State of Florida who desperately want to become parents through adoption.


Opportunity costs alternative options

Opportunity Costs/ Alternative Options

  • Shift in recruitment funds from other minorities;

  • Increase in the amount of administrative expenses of the Department of Children and Families (DCF)—discussed later.

  • Adjust policy to allow only gay couples or single gay individuals the right to adopt;

  • Increase funding to actively recruiting other minorities.


Proposed costs of lifting the ban

Proposed Costs of Lifting the Ban

  • 1) Increase in administrative fees to the DCF as a result of increasing number of adoptions;

  • 2)Increased costs associated with the need for an increase in case managers and social workers to perform follow-up and post-adoption visitations with the increase in adoptions.


Monetized benefits of lifting the ban table 1 usda annual expenditures for children

Monetized Benefits of Lifting the BanTable 1: USDA Annual Expenditures for Children


Monetized benefits of lifting the ban

Monetized Benefits of Lifting the Ban

  • Estimating a precise number of homosexuals who would adopt if the ban was lifted is difficult as no studies found has performed this type of analysis.

  • Beers (1996) found that 51% of gays in New York City wanted to parent.

  • 2000 US Census revealed:

  • 600,000 same-sex parented households;

  • 16% of households in CA headed by same-sex couples (8% in NY and 7.2% in TX).


Monetized benefits of lifting the ban1

Monetized Benefits of Lifting the Ban

Table 2: Total Benefits of Lifting the Ban (5-year period)


Monetized costs of lifting the ban

Monetized Costs of Lifting the Ban

Table 3: Fees Associated with Adoption


Monetized costs of lifting the ban1

Monetized Costs of Lifting the Ban

Table 4: Total Costs Associated with Lifting the Ban on Gay Adoptions

(5-year period)


Monetized costs of keeping the ban net benefits

Monetized Costs of Keeping the Ban & Net Benefits

  • Same as the benefits of lifting the ban

  • Over a 5-year period equal to $4, 959, 000(using 100 as the potential number of adopted children).

    Table 5: Total Net Benefits: Lifting the Ban (5-Year Period)


Discounting

Discounting

  • Brings future costs into today’s values (Korosec, 2003).

  • For this analysis, will discount for a 5-year period:

    PV = Sn S = Sum of Costs and Benefits

    (1+ r)n n = Given Year

    r = Discount Rate (.05)


Discounting benefits of keeping the ban

Discounting: Benefits of Keeping the Ban

1 2 3 4 5

$366,800 + $366,800 + $366,800 + $366,800 + $366,800

(1 + .05)1 (1 + .05)2 (1 + .05)3 (1 + .05)4 (1 + .05)5

Calculated Answers:

1 2 3 4 5

349,333 + 332,698 + 316,855 + 301,767 + 287,397 =

1,588,050


Discounting benefits of lifting the ban

Discounting: Benefits of Lifting the Ban

1 2 3 4 5

$991,800 + $991,800 + $991,800 + $991,800 + $991,800

(1 + .05)1 (1 + .05)2 (1 + .05)3 (1 + .05)4 (1 + .05)5

Calculated Answers:

1 2 3 4 5

944,571 + 899,591 + 856,754 + 815,856 + 769,265 =

4,286,137


Analysis application of the fundamental rule of cost benefit analysis

Analysis/Application of the Fundamental Rule of Cost/Benefit Analysis

  • Net Benefits of Lifting the Ban = $3,125,000.

  • Net Costs of Keeping the Ban = -$3,125,000.

  • Discount Value of Lifting the Ban = 4,286,137.

  • Discount Value of Keeping the Ban = 1,588,050.

  • Fundamental Rule:

  • “In any choice situation, select the alternative that produces the greatest net (marginal) benefit” (Korosec, 2003)

  • Discounting and Total Net Benefit analysis indicates it is fiscally-wise to LIFT THE BAN!


Sensitivity analysis

Sensitivity Analysis

  • “Sensitivity analysis measures the impact on project outcomes of changing one or more key input values about which there is uncertainty” (Dorf, 1999).

  • Uncertainty in this study was the number of children who would be adopted if the ban was lifted.

  • Assess Sensitivity Analysis with a lower value of 50 (and holding all other values constant).


Sensitivity analysis1

Sensitivity Analysis

Table 6: Sensitivity Analysis of Lifting the Ban: Adjusting Number of Potential Adopted to 50 per Year


Sensitivity analysis2

Sensitivity Analysis

Table 7: Sensitivity Analysis: DCF Costs of Lifting the Ban (50 adoptions)


Sensitivity analysis3

Sensitivity Analysis

Table 8: Sensitivity Analysis: Total Net Benefits of Lifting the Ban


Sensitivity analysis discounting

Sensitivity Analysis: Discounting

Lifting the Ban:

1 2 3 4 5

$495,900 + $495,900 + $495,900 + $495,900 + $495,900 =

(1 + .05)1 (1 + .05)2 (1 + .05)3 (1 + .05)4 (1 + .05)5

Calculated Answers:

1 2 3 4 5

472,285 + 449,795 + 428,377 + 407,978 + 388,550 =

2,146,985


Sensitivity analysis discounting1

Sensitivity Analysis: Discounting

Keeping the Ban:

1 2 3 4 5

$183,400 + $183,400 + $183,400 + $183,400 + $183,400 =

(1 + .05)1 (1 + .05)2 (1 + .05)3 (1 + .05)4 (1 + .05)5

Calculated Answers:

1 2 3 4 5

174,666 + 166,349 + 158,427 + 150,883 + 143, 698 =

794,023


Sensitivity analysis4

Sensitivity Analysis

  • Net Benefits of Lifting the Ban = $1,562,500.

  • Net Benefits of Keeping the Ban = -$1,562,500.

  • Discount Value of Lifting the Ban = 2,146,985.

  • Discount Value of Keeping the Ban = 794,023.

  • Fundamental Rule:

  • “In any choice situation, select the alternative that produces the greatest net (marginal) benefit” (Korosec, 2003)

  • Discounting and Total Net Benefit analysis indicates it is fiscally-wise to LIFT THE BAN!

  • Sensitivity Analysis: ROBUST!


Executive summary

Executive Summary

  • Very controversial issue.

  • Literature reviewed indicated that homosexuals are at least as capable at parenting as heterosexuals.

  • NO evidence supported that children are negatively affected physiologically, psychologically, or developmentally.

  • Research is in drastic need of augmentation (especially data examining gay fathers and longitudinal outcomes).


Executive summary1

Executive Summary

  • Based on the analyses of these data, a lift of the ban on adoptions by gays, although costing $1,834,000 to the DCF (over a five-year period and assuming 100 children per year would be adopted by homosexuals), would benefit the DCF and State of Florida by $4,959,500.

  • This yielded a total of $3,125,000 to be saved by the DCF and the taxpayers of Florida;

  • Discounting also yielded more positive results for lifting the ban than it did for keeping the ban;


Executive summary2

Executive Summary

  • Sensitivity Analyses were robust:

  • Limitations/Influences of Funding/ Feasibility:

  • If the ban is lifted, an immediate increase in the staff of the DCF is needed.

  • Initial budgeting for the DCF should not reflect saved monies.

  • Suggestions include re-budgeting in the second year, analysis of precise costs and adjusting the DCF budget accordingly, or implementation of a non-annual budget.


Executive summary3

Executive Summary

  • Limitations/Influences of Funding/ Feasibility:

  • Spend saved funds on other areas of the DCF, other areas of the state budget, or allocate back to taxpayers.

  • Actual DCF figures were not used;

  • Potential number of gays and lesbians who are willing to adopt if the ban is lifted is difficult to estimate and could be much greater or much less than the value of 100 adoptions used in this study.


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