Adoption: By the Numbers

A new report from the National Council for Adoption highlights American adoption trends, including for infant adoptions, intercountry adoptions and adoptions from foster care.

The report, Adoption: By the Numbers, covers findings from the seventh edition of the National Adoption Data study. Results from the study have been published approximately every five years since 1985.

The National Council for Adoption, an advocacy organization for children, birth parents and adoptive families based in Alexandria, Va., drew on data from a survey of state adoption statistics, the National Center for Health Statistics, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of State, and other data sources for its report.   

The report found that the overall number of adoptions has declined since 2007, the last year the number of American adoptions were counted by the NCFA. Most of this decline is attributed to a 75% decrease in the number of international adoptions, falling to a low of 5,647 in 2015.

During that time, the number of domestic infant adoptions remained mostly steady, growing slightly from 18,078 in 2007 to 18,329 in 2014.

Approximately 50,000 children were adopted from foster care in 2014, holding steady since 2007. This follows a decade where the number of adoptions from foster care doubled after the passage by Congress of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. The number of children waiting to be adopted from foster care continues to grow.

The report features 17 statistical tables along with figures and charts that illustrate trends in additional areas such as:

  • Adoptions of children with special needs
  • Adoptions from public and private agencies
  • Immigrant-orphan adoptions
  • Countries with highest rates of intercountry adoption

For more information or to read the report, click here.  

Carl Finer
is a freelance writer focusing on education, community development, running, and child welfare.

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