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This study explains the differences between the outcomes for children adopted by the age of two in comparison to biologically raised children using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. It analyzes the educational attainment and income earned through a competing effects framework. The Family Background Effect measures the positive effects caused by higher than average socioeconomic status of the average family with adopted children. The Family Background Effect contrasted with the negative Adoption Effect caused by a number of different factors that could work against an adopted child. Using linear regression analysis, the study finds that the Family Background Effect prevails over the Adoption Effect. Then the Oaxaca Decomposition technique breaks down the effects of each family background variable on educational attainment for the adopted young adult. It is determined that the differences in the average level of education of the respondents' mother explains over 50% of the' difference in educational attainment between adopted and biologically raised young adults.



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