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What Explains Openness to Intercountry Adoption?


  • The author will share all data and coding information with those wishing to replicate the study. Many thanks to Christine Balarezo, Jacqueline DeMeritt, John Ishiyama, and Will Miller for sharing their insights on earlier drafts of this article, and to the editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback.

Direct correspondence to Marijke Breuning, Department of Political Science, University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #305340, Denton, TX 76209 〈〉.



This study systematically investigates the factors that determine sending country openness or restrictiveness regarding intercountry adoption. It hypothesizes that larger orphan populations, greater global interconnectedness, and accession to the Hague Convention are associated with greater openness, whereas the political empowerment of women and larger Islamic populations are expected to be associated with greater restrictiveness.


The study employs an original, global data set to empirically test the significance of the hypothesized factors in explaining a country's openness to intercountry adoption.


The study finds that burgeoning orphan populations are associated with greater openness to intercountry adoption and women's presence in political decision making is associated with greater restrictiveness.


The findings call into question the effectiveness of the current intercountry adoption regime.