Adoption Fact Sheet
General Adoption Statistics
- 127,441 children were adopted in the United States in 1992 (The
Flow of Adoption Information from the States, National Center for
State Courts). This total includes relative adoptions, intercountry
adoptions, agency adoptions and independent adoptions.
- Of this total:
42% were stepparent or other relative adoptions,
5% were intercountry adoptions, and
16% were adoptions of children from foster care completed through
public agencies, and
37% were either private agency or independent adoptions of children
from the U.S. (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, 1996)
- Approximately 2% of all U.S. children are adopted (National Center
for State Courts).
- A 1995 National Survey of Family Growth found that of women between
the ages of 18-44, 500,000 had considered adoption, but only 100,000
had actually applied to adopt a child. The great majority of these
individuals are seeking infants, either from this country or abroad.
(National Center for Health Statistics, HHS).
Adoption of Children from Foster Care
About Single Mother Adoption
- Of the 542,000 children in foster care as of March 2003, approximately 126,000 children were waiting to be adopted.
- Of this total, 52% are male, 48% are female
- 28% are white, 56% are black, 9% are Hispanic, 1% are American
Indian, and 5% are of unknown background.
- In 1998, 36,000 children were adopted, and increase from 31,000
in 1997, and 26,000 in 1996.
- Of the children who were adopted in 1998, 40% are white, 44% are
black, 13% are Hispanic, 1% are American Indian, and 1% are of
- The average age of the children adopted was 7 years.
On average, they waited 18 months following termination of parental
rights to be adopted.
- Their age at the time of adoption was:
Less than 1 year 2%
1-5 years 44%
6-10 years 37%
11-15 years 15%
16-18 years   2%
- 81% of the children adopted from foster care received adoption subsidy;
19% did not.
- The relationship of the adoptive parents to the child prior to
the adoption was:
Foster parents [unrelated] 64%
[AFCARS data, March 1999]
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