Adoption Facts

Adoption isn’t one of the things we’re thinking about too much this time of year but it’s when it’s most important.

glad black family having fun on couch
Photo by Any Lane

Adoption In Numbers

In the United States, according to the Adoption Network, there are 428,000 children waiting in foster care. Only about 135,000 children get Into a family each year. Among these children, in both groups just mentioned, there are more boys than girls, over half are over the age of 6 and African American children are “disproportionately represented”. More than 60% of children in foster care are there for at least 2 years. Some 5 years or longer. Some never get into a family at all and just end up aging out of the system. In 2015 we had more children than average in foster care; 670,000. 


There are one and a half million adopted children living in the united states although only 2% of households do all of the adopting. One third of all American households said that they have considered adopting. 37% of the adopted children are white compared to 73% of the adoptive parents being white. The average wait time is three years and the average adopted age is 8. 

Any given year about 4% of the women who experience unwanted pregnancies place their child up for adoption. Birth mothers who remain in contact with their children during and after the adoption process report having less grief, less regret and guilt and less sadness. Additionally, adoptive parents who had contact with the child or children’s birth relatives were way more satisfied with the arrangement than those with no contact at all.


One study shows that adopted children perform just as well as non-adopted children in positions of leadership. They also are just as healthy in general. Data indicates that adopted children have strong feelings of security with their families. They also have superior access to healthcare than their counterparts. They experience lower rates of crime and drug abuse and they are generally more optimistic.


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