Adoptive Parent Resources / Adoption Information

Adoption Statistics

Adoption Statistics

The first modern adoption law was passed in Massachusetts in 1851. Called the Adoption of Children Act, it was the first to focus on the best interests of the child rather than adult interests. Since then, adoption has grown tremendously into what it is today.

General Adoption Statistics

  • 1 in 35 children in the United States are adopted
  • 50,000 children are adopted every year in the United States
  • 28% of adoptions in the United States are transracial adoptions (parent and adopted child are of different race or origin groups)
General Adoption Statistics One in 500,000

Form of Adoption Pursued by Adoptive Families in the United States

  • Private Domestic Adoption: 38%
  • Foster Care Adoption: 37%
  • International Adoption: 25%
Form of Adoption Pursued by Adoptive Families in the United States

About Adopted Children

The following are general statistics representative of all adopted children in the United States. The statistics represent children under 18 at the time of data collection.

Gender

  • Male: 47%
  • Female: 53%
Gender Stats

Birthplace

  • Born in the US: 83%
  • Foreign Born: 17%
Birthplace Stats

Race/Ethnic Origin

  • White: 49%
  • Black/African American: 16%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 2%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 10%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 19%
  • Other: 4%
Adopted Child Race Stats

About Adoptive Parents...

The following are general statistics representative of all adoptive families in the United States. The statistics represent families of children under 18 at the time of data collection.

Average Age

  • 44.8 years old

Marital Status

  • Married couple: 73%
  • Single female parent: 20.5%
  • Single male parent: 6.5%
Adoptive Parents Marital Status

Median Household Income

  • $73,378 per year

Educational Level

  • Less than high school: 9%
  • High school graduate: 20%
  • Some college: 32%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 22%
  • Graduate or professional school degree: 17%
Educational Level Stats

Reasons for Adopting a Baby

  • To provide a permanent home for a child: 81%
  • A desire to expand family: 69%
  • Inability to have a biological child: 52%
  • Wanted sibling for another child: 24%
  • Had previously adopted the child’s siblings: 7%
Reasons for Adopting a Baby

Adoption Community

  • 42% helped other adoptive families

Adoption Satisfaction

  • 87% would definitely make the same decision to adopt again

About Domestic Adoption

The following are general statistics representative of domestic adoption in the United States. The statistics represent families of children under 18 at the time of data collection.

Open Adoptions

  • Adopted children with a pre-adoption agreement regarding openness: 67%
  • Adopted children with post-adoption contact with birth family: 68%

Gender of Adopted Child

  • Male: 51%
  • Female: 49%
Gender of Adopted Child

Race/Ethnic Origin of Adopted Child

  • White: 50%
  • Black: 25%
  • Hispanic: 13%
  • Asian: <1%
  • Other: 12%
Race/Ethnic Origin of Adopted Child

Transracial Adoptions

  • 21% of domestic adoptions are transracial adoptions (parent and adopted child are of different race or origin groups)

Marital Status of Adoptive Parents

  • Married: 59%
  • Cohabiting: <3%
  • Single or other: 38%
Marital Status of Adoptive Parents

Adoptive Parents’ Reasons for Adopting a Baby

  • To provide a permanent home for a child: 70%
  • A desire to expand family: 60%
  • Inability to have a biological child/Infertility: 52%
  • Wanted sibling for another child: 16%
  • Had previously adopted the child’s siblings: 7%
Adoptive Parents’ Reasons for Adopting a Baby

Siblings of Adopted Children

  • Adopted child is only child: 24%
  • Child has adopted siblings only: 22%
  • Child has siblings born to parent and no adopted siblings: 33%
  • Child has adopted siblings and siblings born to parent: 21%
Siblings of Adopted Children

Adoption Community

  • 34% of adoptive families helped other adoptive families

Adoption Satisfaction

  • 93% of adoptive parents definitely would adopt again

Sources:

U.S. Census Bureau, 2009–2011 American Community Survey - Rose M. Kreider and Daphne A. Lofquist, Adopted Children and Stepchildren: 2010, Current Population Reports, P20-572, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC. 2014.

2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents - Vandivere, S., Malm, K., and Radel, L. Adoption USA: A Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents. (Washington, D.C.: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2009).

The Donaldson Adoption Institute, New York, NY.

More Adoption Information