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D. The Advantages of Orphanages

Narrator: This is Science Today. Management professor Richard McKenzie of the University of California, Irvine surveyed a group of orphanage alumni and found they're wealthier and more successful than average. McKenzie, who himself grew up in an orphanage, says that system has two big advantages over foster care. One is a sense of permanence.

McKenzie: The one great advantage that I think I had at the home for children is that when I went there at 10 years old I knew that I could be there until I was 18 or 20 or 22, and as it turned out I went to college by way of the home. It was my choice as to whether or not I would leave. In the foster care system the kids know that the foster care parents can always reject the kids.

Narrator: Plus, in foster care...

McKenzie: The kids oftentimes have to compete with the natural birth kids of the foster care parents, and that can be a terrible bind, and indeed many of the orphans felt relieved at going to the orphanage after being in foster care.

Narrator: McKenzie attributes his own success to having grown up in an orphanage. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.