Adoption Statistics

General Adoption Statistics

  • There are millions of orphans in the world just waiting for a family.
  • There are more than 118,000 children in public foster care awaiting adoption (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005).
  • There are thousands of families looking to adopt each year.
  • 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption, meaning that they themselves, a family member, or a close friend was adopted, had adopted a child, or had placed a child for adoption. (Evan B. Donaldson Institute, 1997)
  • It is estimated that about 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents. (Stolley, 1993)

Adoption statistics for mothers who place a child for adoption

  • There are millions of orphans in the world just waiting for a family.
  • There are thousands of families looking to adopt each year.
  • 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption, meaning that they themselves, a family member, or a close friend was adopted, had adopted a child, or had placed a child for adoption. (Evan B. Donaldson Institute, 1997)
  • It is estimated that about 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents. (Stolley, 1993)

Adoption statistics for adopted children

Adopted children do as well as or better than their non-adopted counterparts, according to a 1994 study by the Search Institute, a Minneapolis-based public policy research organization providing leadership, knowledge and resources to promote healthy children, youth and communities. This study, the largest examination of adopted adolescents yet undertaken, concludes:

  • Teens who were adopted at birth are more likely than children born into intact families to live with two parents in a middle-class family.
  • Adopted children score higher than their middle-class counterparts on indicators of school performance, social competency, optimism and volunteerism.
  • Adopted adolescents generally are less depressed than children of single parents and less involved in alcohol abuse, vandalism, group fighting, police trouble, weapon use and theft.
  • Adopted adolescents score higher than children of single parents on self-esteem, confidence in their own judgment, self-directedness, positive view of others and feelings of security within their families.
  • On health measures, adopted children and children of intact families share similarly high scores, and both those groups score significantly higher than children raised by single parents.
  • Seven percent of children adopted in infancy repeated a grade, while 12 percent of children living with both biological parents repeated a grade.
  • Compared with the general child population, children placed with adoptive couples are better off economically.

Data indicates that adopted children:

  • Do better in educational attainment than single parent children and children raised by grandparents.
  • Enjoy a quality of home environment superior to all the other groups.
  • Have superior access to health care compared to all other groups.

Additional Information

Since the following information changes from year to year in order to assure you receive the most accurate statistical information from Adoption & Beyond the following information is available upon request:

  • The number of children eligible for adoption and awaiting an adoptive placement referral via Adoption & Beyond, Inc.
  • Statistics for the past three calendar years regarding:
    • The number of prospective adoptive parents who apply for services each year
    • The number of adoptive placements Adoption & Beyond, Inc. has made
    • The percentage of those placements that have disrupted or dissolved

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