US Adoption Statistics

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US Adoption Statistics

Adoption is all around us, even if we don’t see it. Every day, there are children being adopted into loving families all across the country. Adopting a baby requires guidance from an experienced adoption professional. Adoption Network Law Center is a California law corporation providing quality, professional adoption services to prospective Birth Mothers and Adoptive Parents nationwide. Here are some interesting adoption statistics you may not know about.

How many Americans have adopted a child?

Although it is estimated that between 2-4% of Americans have adopted, more than 1/3 have considered it.1

Up to out of every 25 U.S. families with children have an adopted child. According to the data compiled from the 2010 U.S. Census, about half of these have both biological and adopted children.

How many Americans are adopted?

Around 5 million Americans are adopted.

How many children in American are adopted?

There are about 4.5 million adopted children in the United States, which is 7% of the population reported in the 2010 Census. This amount includes children who are adopted by relatives or a stepparent.

How many children are adopted each year?

According to the Adoption by the Numbers© 2022 study conducted by the National Council on Adoption, approximately 115,353 adoptions took place in 2019. This data includes private placements as well as those from foster care and stepparent adoptions.2

How common is adoption? reported in 2019 that one quarter of those surveyed had either a friend or family member who is adopted and almost as many (24%) had themselves considered adopting. Also of note is that the number of adoptive homes with same-sex parents nearly doubled from 2000 to 2009. Half of those surveyed by the Dave Thomas Foundation approve of adoption into families with same-sex parents.

How common are open adoptions?

Today, approximately 95% of domestic infant adoptions are considered to be open adoptions. This is because these adoptions include some degree of openness and sharing and information between adoptive and birth parents regarding themselves and the adopted child. About two-thirds of domestic infant adoptions experience some level of continued post-placement contact.

How common is international adoption?

As international adoptions became more restrictive the placements declined and so did the number of U.S. families who choose them. International adoptions by U.S. citizens have declined from 19,942 in 2007, to 9,319 in 2011 to 1,785 for the most recent reporting period.

How many people are waiting to adopt a child?

There are no national statistics on how many people are waiting to adopt, but experts estimate it is somewhere between one and two million couples.

What is the most adopted race?

For reporting year 2016, almost 49% of adopted children are non-Hispanic white. Overall, 25% of adopted children are of a different race, culture, or ethnicity than both of their adoptive parents (or their sole parent if there is only one parent in the household). The percentage of African American children who are adopted from foster care is disproportionately represented.

How many children are available for adoption in the United States?

The most recent AFCARS report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that there are almost 114,000 foster children eligible for and waiting to be adopted. In 2021, 54,200 foster kids were adopted which is a decline of approximately 3700 from the prior year. Although the number of adoptions has declined, the report found that for the past decade the percentage of children in foster care who are eligible for adoption has remained stable from 26-29%. Among these children, males outnumber females.

What is the average age of an adopted child?

The average age of a waiting child is almost 8 years old. Fifty-two percent of children entered foster care in 2019 were 6 years old or older.

How many children are in the foster care system in the United States?

On any given day, there are approximately 391,000 children in foster care in the United States. In 2022, almost 214,000 children entered the U.S. foster care system, and infants represented over 70% of the total increase.

How long does the average child spend in the foster care system?

Close to 60% of children in foster care spend two to five years in the system before being adopted. Almost 11% spend five or more years in foster care before being adopted. Some are never adopted.

How much does it cost the government to keep a child in foster care?

Foster care funding totals 65% of total funds allocated for child welfare purposes (Title IV-E), with adoption assistance used for another 22%. Funding for prevention and reunification purposes was 11%. Congressional Research Service reports that federal funding for these programs for 2023 is estimated to be $10.6 billion.

  1. 2022 US Adoption Attitudes Survey Conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Published February 2022
  2. Adoption By The Numbers© 2022 National Council for Adoption accessed 3/7/2023

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