February 24, 2018

Study: Adoption Statistics

It costs an adoptive family as much as $45,000 to adopt a child. However, 7% of the children in the U.S. are adopted. Each year more than 18,000 infants are adopted. Nevertheless, older children get adopted as well.

© Robert Valencia (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Keep reading to learn the eye opening statistics of adoption today.

The Truth About Adoption

  • How many adoptions occur each year?
    The latest data shows a decline in adoptions. There were 110,373 adoptions in 2014, the most current year reported compared to 133,737 in 2007. This number includes both related and unrelated adoptions.

    Just looking at unrelated adoptions, there were 75,337 adoptions in the U.S. The large decrease could be due to the tougher international adoption laws. The restrictions may have lowered the number of internationally adopted children.

  • How many babies are adopted each year?
    According to the latest data, 18,329 infants are adopted each year. This is a slight increase from 2007, when 18,078 infants were adopted.

  • What is the most adopted race?
    Almost half of the adopted children are white. 16% of adopted children are African American and 10% are Asian. 6.5% of adopted children are more than one race.

  • What percentage of the population under the age of 18 is adopted?
    Just about 7% of all children under the age of 18 in the U.S. are adopted.

Adopting Domestically

  • How much does it cost to adopt a baby in the U.S.?
    The cost of adopting a baby in the U.S. varies depending on the type of adoption. Adoptive parents using a private adoption agency spend between $20,000 and $45,000 on the adoption. Adoptive parents doing an independent adoption with an attorney spend between $15,000 and $40,000 on adoption. These costs include the home study, medical care of the birth mother, legal expenses, social work services, and postplacement assistance.

  • How many domestic adoptions are handled by public agencies?
    Of the 133,737 domestic adoptions, 69,350 of them were unrelated adoptions (non-family adoptions). Of this number, 47,094 were handled by a public agency.

  • How many domestic adoptions are handled by private agencies?
    16,312 domestic adoptions were handled by either private agencies or independent individuals, such as an adoption attorney.

  • What percentage of adoptive parents are married?
    66.8% of adoptive couples are married at the time of adoption. 3.5% of adoptive couples are unmarried at the time of adoption.

  • What percentage of adoptions are by single females?
    More than one-fourth of adoptions are by single mothers. Only 3% of adoptions are done by single males.

Adopting Internationally

  • How many "intercountry" adoptions occur each year?
    The latest reports show 5,372 international adoptions in a year. This number could have decreased even further as the restrictions overseas and in the U.S. have become tighter.

  • Which country has the most international adoptions?
    China has the highest number of international adoptions. In 2016, there were 2,231 adoptions from China. The country with the next highest amount of adoptions in the U.S. is South Korea, with 260 adoptions.

  • When did adoptions from Guatemala end?
    Guatemala was always the second highest "sending country" in terms of international adoption. However, they put an end to this practice in 2008.

Helping Kids in Foster Care

  • How many children are there in the foster care system?
    As of 2016, the latest data available, there were 437,465 children in the foster care system. Of that amount, 273,539 entered foster care during that year and more than 250,000 exited the system.

  • What is the average age of children in foster care?
    The average age of children in foster care is between the ages of 7 and 8. The largest percentage of foster care children (8% each) are ages 2 and 3.

  • How long does the average child spend in foster care?
    The average child spends just over 25 months in foster care. Half of these children go to a foster family that is not related to them. 13% of the children go to a pre-adoptive home, while they wait for adoption.

  • How long does it take to become a foster parent?
    The average time it takes to become a foster parent is between 3 and 6 months. However, the time can vary significantly depending on the area you live and how fast you work. You must agree to be fingerprinted and have a background check run on you. Your state will also require a medical exam and need to evaluate your financial status and how you live. The home study itself can take a month or longer depending on the workload of your state's department.

  • How long does it take to adopt a child from foster care?
    On average, once you have a foster child in your care, it can take up to 6 months to adopt the child. Despite being approved as a foster parent, you may have to go through additional evaluations to ensure you are a good fit for the child.

  • How many foster children are adopted?
    In 2016, 23% of the children in foster care were adopted. 51% of those in foster care were able to reunite with their family. The remaining children either went to live with a relative or aged out and were able to free themselves from the system.

Understanding Orphans

  • How many orphans are there in the world?
    Sadly, there are more than 140 million orphans throughout the world. UNICEF defines an orphan as a child under the age of 18 who lost one or both parents, though. Orphans in the true sense of the word as we know it, which is that they've lost boht parents and are under the age of 18, represent 26 million children, which is still a staggering number.

  • What is the average age of orphans in the world?
    The average orphan is over the age of 5 throughout the entire world.

  • What country has the most orphans?
    The Republic of Tanzania has the most orphans in the world. Today, they have as many as 3 million orphans.

Despite the decreasing numbers, thousands of children still need a home. This includes children in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Sources and References:

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