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Adoption Statistics

Adoption Statistics

Adoption Statistics

Some information on adoption in the United States has been the result of opinions/personal satisfaction ratings of parents who had gone through the adoption process at least once before. Adoptive parents are most likely to be motivated to want to adopt so they can give children a permanent home or to start/add to a family and are most likely to look outside child welfare programs if they seek an infant child to adopt.
Overall, most adopters rate their experience to be quite favorable, citing a good rapport with their agency and feelings of warmth and closeness with their children as major reasons for thinking this way.   

Country-wide Trends
National trends in domestic adoption may be hard to analyze due to the impracticality of analyzing many types of private agency. Using the period from 1996 to 2002 as the basis of its interpretation of data, the National Council For Adoption identified some significant upward swings in certain classes of adoption.
In that time, both the rates of domestic and international adoption went up, and sizable increases were reported in the United States for adoptions of children with disabilities and other special needs.

International Statistics
Though some might argue we in the United States should have a better handle on our domestic adoption numbers as compared to our tallies of international adoption, to be fair, the latter is mediated by third parties. In applying for adoption, prospective adoptive parents must petition for their children to obtain visa documentation via the Department of State and apply for naturalization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and those statistics are recorded and reported each year. 
Right down to the State and region in which an adoptee is settled, this information can be presented in a logical manner. In terms of individual states, adoption rates have been greatest for California and New York, whereas central America (especially around the Great Lakes area) is the area with the highest population density. 
With the patterns of migrations to specific parts of the country, the ranks have more or less remained unchanged. For the most part, so too have the sources of child adoption been remarkably consistent.
China, Russia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and South Korea have been major contributors to the international adoption scene in America, though recently, the latter two have either already shut down their adoption operations or are looking at closing off adoption almost entirely to foreign nationals. Absolute numbers of intercountry adoptions to the United States have dipped in the past five years. 
Meanwhile, gender-oriented differences in intercountry adoption have been consistently less pronounced, with China’s proclivity towards approving females for adoption over males being a notable exception (especially since China is the biggest “exporter” of children to America). 

Public
Public adoption is often easier for prospective adoptive parents to manage given the lower costs and subsidies that may be available for children through community channels, and calculating statistics on public adoption is easier with this form of domestic adoption being almost exclusively handled by State-funded public adoption agencies and placing children from foster care and child welfare programs.
With the actualization of the Adoption Incentives Program through the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, even justifying the termination of parents’ rights to custody of their children in cases of being poor providers has gotten easier, with State governments assenting to more public adoptions as a means of reaping the namesake economic incentives. 
There has been a definite ebb and flow to rates of public adoption in the United States, though. Whereas once public adoption was the majority, more and more private domestic adoptions (be they through agencies or outside of agencies as part of a mutual contractual agreement) have cut into that dominance and have actually overcome it in absolute numbers.
Nevertheless, over a third of all adoptions applied for by Americans are still arranged for through foster care, with over two-thirds of eventual parents previously being parents through foster care. A majority of these adoptive parents head low-income households, though this does not imply they cannot be good parents. 

Private
Public and private adoption would seem to be polar opposites based on the fact their names are antonyms, and in essence, they are. Public adoption is roughly equivalent to State foster care systems and private adoption is generally conceived as every type of adoption other than foster care adoption. 
Interestingly enough, though, private agency services may be used for both private adoptions and (to a limited, supplemental extent) public agency adoptions. In addition, the percentages of these adoption types out of the total number of adoptions at the behest of U.S. citizens are separated by one percentage point (as of 2007, roughly 38% for private; 37% for public).
Just the same, it cannot be denied that the differences between private and public adoption outnumber the similarities. For one, relatives (through private independent adoptions) are much more likely to solicit private avenues for adoption than to enlist the services of public adoption agencies/foster care. There are disparities, as well, in the rates of infant adoption for both adoption routes. 
With private adoption in particular, over 60% of placements are for children one month of age or younger. Additionally, private adoptions are decidedly more conducive to open adoption (i.e. continued contact with birth parents) in both pre-adoption agreements and post-adoption practice. 

Step-Parent
Depending on how one operationally defines the term “step-parent”, the statistics a study yields can be radically different and can err on both the side of exclusion and inclusion. First, step-parent adoption must be recognized as its own form of adoption separate from adoption as a whole.
Second, step-parent adoption must be distinguished from the more general “step-parenthood” umbrella which does not have to include adoption (in some cultures, they might not see a need for the formality of it all). 
Third, step-parenthood must be extracted from those situations in which it was wrongfully combined with other special circumstances. Lastly, examples of step-parenthood must be considered that are not necessarily the result of a birth mother remarrying.
However, until the above parameters are met, results will have to be weighed alongside their limitations. Some statistics-oriented organizations would insist that step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption in the United States, though they may simply be treating adoptive parents who are not birth parents as “step-parents.” 
Other researchers would insist that step-parent adoption accounts for a much lower rate of adoption in this country, especially when marriage and not just informal domestic relationships are considered. Then again, some of their analysis are just single studies with small sample sizes, so it can be difficult to generalize this data.


Familial
Kinship adoption may realistically be a win-win for children and adults, which may explain why it is so common (aside from the obvious feelings of familial sympathy and obligation).
Even when he or she never lived with his or her original birth parents – which, by Department of Health and Human Services estimates is about 1 in 4 children – relatives may still volunteer to furnish a home for their sibling’s/cousin’s/etc.’s offspring. In any event, family members are more likely than non-relatives to adopt children within the United States, constituting 40% of all adoptive parents. 

Interracial
Interracial adoption may often manifest itself in the form of international adoption. 
Intercountry
As the United States is home to the most immigrants on the face of the Earth, so too is it a leader in adoptees, a subset of that population. Between 10,000 and 20,000 children are adopted by American nationals from foreign nations each year, and international adoptions comprise as much as a quarter of all adoptions in the United States.
Despite periods of decline in the number of intercountry adoptions over the past four decades, though, numbers of intercountry adoptions resulting in immigration to America are easily more than double and triple the rates of other major countries on the world stage.
Whereas international adoptions to the United States eclipsed the 100,000-child mark for the period of 2002 to 2008, the United Kingdom could not even break 2,500, let alone 100,000 children, and Australia managed comparatively paltry numbers of 400 to 500 children per year in the same time frame. Italy managed scarcely over 3,000 adoptees per annum at points in this block of time, and largely due to strict domestic adoption policies within. 
Special Needs Adoption
With frequent publicity on special needs adoption, it may be that more people are endorsing the practice than actually committing to reforming it or helping matters by volunteering to adopt children from this population themselves. After all, special needs adoption is one thing to contemplate in an abstract sense and quite another thing to actually come to grips with in the real world.
From the early 1980s to the turn of the millennium, annual totals of domestic special needs adoption more than tripled and special needs adoption went from a minority to a majority of unrelated domestic adoptions, suggesting that press on special needs adoption is leading to the general public being better informed about the practice and disabilities in general.  
Generational Statistics/Trends
In American history, both the general population and populations of adopted individuals can be grouped into generations. In the second epoch, less of a focus was put on preservation of a family line and more on improving the welfare of the child by getting him or her into the home of any willing, responsible adult(s).
This involved a now-legal transition from public institutions to private domiciles, and in terms of absolute numbers of children that had to undergo this changeover, several hundreds of children were made to relocate and reestablish their lives with new families.
In the final, ongoing epoch, adoption hit the mainstream in America, undoubtedly influenced by literal shortages of children to be adopted after the Second World War. Annual adoption tallies, buttressed by international adoption spikes, more than doubled by the 1970s and still number over 100,000 today, yet the need to place American children remains great with consistent overtaxing.
Male-female splits in the total population of adopted children in America are roughly down the middle. For different subsets of the population, though, there are significant variances in gender breakdowns. In adopting a baby from international sources, parents are twice as likely to adopt a girl than they are to take in a boy.
While this may not be expected considering high national rates of individuals adopting from public agencies, a lower percentage of adopted children live in poverty than non-adoptees. Nonetheless, as if to remove any illusions of grandeur surrounding adoption in the United States, almost half of children adopted from foster care live in low-income households. 
In adopting, most adoptive couples and individuals cite the desire to provide a home for a child as their main reason for adopting. Wanting another child to increase the size of the family or being unable to have a child due to infertility issues are also common justifications for adopting a baby or older child. When adopting a baby in particular, American adoptive parents are more likely to look to private and international adoptions. 
Prospective adoptive parents should be reassured by additional survey statistics reported by veterans of the process. According to HHS studies, close to 90% of parents report satisfaction with the agency they used in adopting, and over 40% of State adoptions exceeded their expectations in a positive way.

Country wide Trends Adoption Statistics At A Glance

Country wide Trends Adoption Statistics At A Glance

In a lot of categories, there were marked increases in adoption rates during the period beginning in 1996 and ending in 2002. According to adoption statistics, on the whole, both domestic and intercountry adoptions to the United States went up.
Meanwhile, some adoption statistics indicate no change or a decrease in the rate of incidence along certain variables. Interestingly enough, despite more children being born out of wedlock at the end of the specified period, the NCFA also reports that fewer children were put up for adoption than in years past.
Of course, these are bittersweet trends. While it may be good that some birth mothers are forgoing adoption, one may wonder if the spike in the rate of extramarital births is related to planned pregnancies of minors. 
These overall adoption statistics may be bittersweet as well. While increases in adoptions are usually a positive thing, there is the concern with such a trend that people who are not well-suited to be adoptive parents may secure custody rights through an agency. 

Familial Adoption Explained

Familial Adoption Explained

In instances where biological parents are unable to take care of their children based on substance abuse, absenteeism, or some other limiting factor, kinship adoption, also known as familial or family adoption, is a natural alternative sought out by relatives of disaffected children and public adoption agencies alike. Indeed, the reasons for domestic kinship adoption are numerous. 
One of the more common justifications is that family adoption is a means of preservation of family, even if it does not involve immediate birth parents. If nothing else, family ties to children in some form are maintained, and perhaps better yet, this keeps them out of the child welfare system.
In addition, for more capable relatives, kinship adoption presents the opportunity for children to start fresh in a presumably safe environment where they are likewise legally and financially protected. With just these few considerations, it is thus considerably easy to understand why family adoption is so prevalent in the United States today. 


Some statistical notes:
It should be emphasized that not all instances of kinship adoption are subsequent to a child previously living with one or more parents. Especially when a child is conceived out of wedlock and a birth mother decides to give up her rights to custody upon birth, a family member may intervene to provide the child with a home. According to the most recent statistics published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, out of all cases of family adoption since 2002, less than three-quarters of children had ever lived with their birth family.        
Nonetheless, the rate of kinship adoption in the United States following a child’s life with one or more birth parents, even for a short time, is still high compared to that of non-relative adoptions on the domestic level. While percentages of family adoption across State and even international lines in this category consistently rank in the seventies, only about one-third of all non-relative adoptive families can claim their child once lived with his or her biological parents, and this plummets to one-sixth for non-relatives who adopt.          
Out of all domestic adoptions, though, family adoption is still quite prevalent, especially in private adoptions. Whether through an agency, attorney or other agreement, over 40% of children adopted over the past decade or so have been adopted by relatives.
Many times, kinship adoption transpires with amicable intent to adopt from the relative who takes a child into his or her home. Nonetheless, it is not unrealistic that some biological relatives will raise children out of pity or guilt. In such a scenario, it is important for adoptive parents to try as hard as possible to not communicate this much to their adoptees, lest the children react adversely to such an attitude. 

Intercountry Adoption At Glance

Intercountry Adoption At Glance

Building on its reputation of accepting people of all ages through legal immigration, in terms of international adoption of children, the United States is one of the foremost adopting countries, if not the top-ranked country. Annually, America is responsible for over 10,000 adoptions across international lines.          
Though, as stated, the United States is not only the sponsor of intercountry adoption, as one of the biggest sponsors, we would be remiss if we did not consider how important it is to the practice of adopting the world’s children and vice-versa. According to 2007 U.S. Health and Human Services statistics, international adoption has been responsible for about a quarter of all domestic adoptions.         
Despite downward slides in rates of international adoption in the United States compared to other English-speaking countries, it still is far and away a more probable conduit for foreign-born children to be adopted. For instance, in the whole period from 2002 to 2008, the United Kingdom reported less than 2,500 total cases of intercountry adoption. Australia, too, has been characterized by a low acceptance of non-native children into new families based on factors such as wait time and overall cost.
In particular recent years, less than 500 international adoptions have been reported. Even a country with as much land as Canada pales in comparison to the United States. International adoption between all provinces and territories does not even come close to 10,000 total claims.
On the other hand, residents of some countries actually look to intercountry adoption as a means of circumventing their nation’s more rigid adoption policies. In 2006, Italian nationals adopted some three times more foreign-born children than domestic-born minors. 

What You Need to Know About International Statistics

What You Need to Know About International Statistics

The most recent surveys of domestic adoption may not reflect the most current information on the subject, as regulation of adoption practices is incumbent upon individual states, and in turn, figures on the adoption of children in America from each of those states takes time to collect. In evaluating trends of intercountry adoption to the United States, two main geographical considerations must be taken into mind: the destination of adoptees upon arrival and the country from which they came.
Regarding the former, the adoption of children from foreign countries was predominant in a handful of states. In the fiscal year 2004, only six states reported adoption totals of immigrant orphans over 1,000 children: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
In terms of individual states, California was the highest for foreign adoption. However, as a region, East North Central America (Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois) saw the greatest influx of foreign-born children who were adopted. These trends have remained largely unchanged as of late.
Another fairly static category in terms of rankings of the adoption of children born abroad is the country of origin. It is foreign adoption as a whole that has seen more ups and downs than consistency as of late. In the three decades leading up to 2004, adoption of children from foreign countries steadily rose in incidence.
Since 2004, though, intercountry adoptions have taken a nosedive with greater restrictions in place. In fact, total adoptions to the United States have been almost cut in half in that time span.

All You Need to Know About Interracial Adoption

All You Need to Know About Interracial Adoption

When many people conceptualize interracial adoption or at the very least get a mental picture of it, they envision Americans adopting children from impoverished African and Asian nations to fill voids in their lives.
Unfortunately for them, some prospective adoptive parents are not too keen on interracial adoption. Though most children do come to find out they were adopted, in the early going, adoptive parents might not be prepared to inform their children that they are not their birth parents.         
The above is explained to a large extent by the populations of children in foster care. About half of children adopted from public sources are either Hispanic or non-Hispanic blacks, whereas less than 40% of private domestic adoptees are members of the same minority groups.
Though not our primary focus, but for the sake of perspective, the disparities between racial groups in interracial adoptions loom larger with regard to international adoption. In fact, whites, blacks and Hispanics together are a minority compared with the most frequent targets of interracial adoption: Asian children.
Perhaps the most striking numbers pertaining to transracial adoption are those of who are adopting. Whereas the majority of adoptees in foster care settings are blacks and Latinos, a majority of adopters (over 60%) are non-Hispanic whites. The divide grows with regard to private adoptions and intercountry, interracial adoptions. Respectively, adoptive parents are white some 71% and 92% of the time.

Quick Blurb About Special Needs Adoption

Quick Blurb About Special Needs Adoption

In terms of what types of special needs affect children who are adopted in this country, they are numerous. Special needs adoptions have seen greater numbers and greater percentages of the whole over time. The National Council For Adoption viewed figures of adoptive parents choosing special needs children for adoption alongside all unrelated domestic adoptions.
Perhaps the most important statistic concerning special needs adoptions is how many potential adoptions may be yet to come. According to some estimates, over 150,000 children with special needs are still living in foster care and will continue to do so until they are given a permanent home.

Step Parent Adoption At A Glance

Step Parent Adoption At A Glance

Apparent rises in numbers of step-parent adoptions are perhaps more easily understandable than other forms of adoption, noting the concordant change in the face of the American family. With high rates of divorce and new attitudes on the traditional family taking shape, more and more, step-families are supplanting families helmed by two married, biological parents.         
In fact, according to some estimators and theorists (e.g. the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse), step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption in many countries. At least in Great Britain, step-parent adoptions over the past 15 years have seen rates as high as one-third to one-half of all adoptions counted. 
In the United States, estimates tend to be much more conservative, perhaps poetic in a way because of more “conservative” attitudes toward marriage, specifically gay marriage. A recent study conducted at Iowa State University suggests that as little as 5% of children are adopted by a step-parent in a mixed birth parent/step-parent living arrangement, though small sample sizes and errors in reporting are understandable threats to the validity of the study. 
Estimates on step-parent adoption are further limited by failures to dissect the different circumstances that cause step-parenthood. Though often a stepfather is the one to adopt, a non-biological mother may also realistically wish to secure legal rights to raise a child.