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  • How Many Children Are Adopted Each Year in the US

    Dawn Davenport

    10
    How many children are adopted in the US every year?

    How many children are adopted in the US every year?

    Simple question, right? “How many children are adopted each year in the United States?” Unfortunately, there’s not a simple answer.  Believe it or not, and I’ll admit that I’m clearly in the “not” camp, the US does not have a central source for tracking the number and type of adoptions that occur each year.  The latest guesstimate is based on data from 2008 and has recently been published by Child Welfare Information Gateway

    • In 2008, 135,813 children were adopted in the US in all types of adoption, including foster care adoptions, intercountry adoptions, and private baby adoptions. The 2008 number is a 6-percent increase in total adoptions from 2000, when 127,985 children were adopted.
    • Although the total number of adoptions has risen, the adoption rate per 100,000 adults in the United States has decreased. The adoption rate per 100,000 adults (i.e., persons aged 18 and older who became adoptive parents) in 2000 was 61.5, and the adoption rate was 58.3 in 2008—a 5-percent decrease.
    • Adoption from foster care accounted for 41% (55,303) of all adoptions in 2008. In 2000, they made up 40 percent of all adoptions.
    • International adoptions accounted for 13% (17,416) of all adoptions in 2008. In 2000, 14 percent of all adoptions were of children from foreign countries.
    • Other adoptions (private adoption from adoption agencies or adoption attorneys, tribal, step parent) accounted for the rest—about 46% (63,094) in 2008.  In 2000, they accounted for approximately 47 percent of all adoptions.

    For me, the most fascinating part of this report was the break down of number and type of adoption by state. Wow, what differences there were.

    Variances in Adoption Type by US State for 2007 and 2008

    2007 2008
    Private* Public Inter-country Total Private* Public Inter-country Total
    Alabama 1,752 349 197 2,298 1,625 442 185 2,252
    Alaska 293 254 71 618 328 269 46 643
    Arizona 572 1,629 290 2,491 904 1,661 342 2,907
    Arkansas 1,513 404 97 2,014 1,526 505 102 2,133
    California 4,785 7,622 1,482 13,889 3,059 7,777 1,371 12,207
    Colorado 1,052 1,084 529 2,665 1,412 1,005 456 2,873
    Connecticut 727 717 309 1,753 471 772 274 1,517
    Delaware 79 118 54 251 40 111 53 204
    District of Columbia 43 152 55 250 111 113 50 274
    Florida 2,789 3,089 967 6,845 3,222 3,870 800 7,892
    Georgia 2,085 1,269 559 3,913 2,086 1,340 484 3,910
    Hawaii 320 265 88 673 326 273 76 675
    Idaho 597 195 94 886 573 236 91 900
    Illinois 2,079 1,516 876 4,471 1,841 1,472 880 4,193
    Indiana 1,893 1,292 537 3,722 1,909 1,510 477 3,896
    Iowa 810 1,060 231 2,101 713 1,041 183 1,937
    Kansas 1,052 789 207 2,048 1,202 721 174 2,097
    Kentucky 1,840 689 360 2,889 1,910 772 352 3,034
    Louisiana 695 428 164 1,287 781 596 133 1,510
    Maine 412 332 99 843 452 322 76 850
    Maryland 2,009 462 517 2,988 1,994 610 466 3,070
    Massachusetts 1,019 794 584 2,397 1,072 712 488 2,272
    Michigan 1,743 2,617 742 5,102 1,692 2,731 651 5,074
    Minnesota 723 599 776 2,098 577 785 663 2,025
    Mississippi 817 295 85 1,197 928 281 55 1,264
    Missouri 1,154 1,149 523 2,826 1,237 1,087 410 2,734
    Montana 391 246 76 713 556 242 57 855
    Nebraska 356 496 91 943 377 520 95 992
    Nevada 335 466 55 856 371 470 28 869
    New Hampshire 365 141 143 649 414 167 106 687
    New Jersey 108 1,564 576 2,248 620 1,265 527 2,412
    New Mexico 250 355 80 685 197 427 70 694
    New York 4,481 2,488 1,199 8,168 5,012 2,394 1,118 8,524
    North Carolina 3,967 1,521 605 6,093 2,919 1,694 585 5,198
    North Dakota 123 125 27 275 113 159 27 299
    Ohio 2,421 1,779 806 5,006 2,439 1,638 747 4,824
    Oklahoma 1,052 1,271 154 2,477 1,149 1,516 122 2,787
    Oregon 681 1,016 347 2,044 612 1,050 329 1,991
    Pennsylvania 2,190 1,940 843 4,973 2,109 2,090 774 4,973
    Puerto Rico 149 180 18 347 154 152 18 324
    Rhode Island 161 239 84 484 170 260 62 492
    South Carolina 953 431 219 1,603 825 525 196 1,546
    South Dakota 155 160 53 368 175 176 56 407
    Tennessee 1,695 1,214 396 3,305 1,720 1,046 373 3,139
    Texas 5,654 4,022 875 10,551 5,694 4,526 786 11,006
    Utah 1,084 454 221 1,759 1,034 536 199 1,769
    Vermont 198 199 61 458 207 182 42 431
    Virginia 1,398 680 721 2,799 1,323 664 591 2,578
    Washington 1,017 1,291 686 2,994 1,188 1,261 609 3,058
    West Virginia 459 403 60 922 425 523 62 1,010
    Wisconsin 1,001 734 660 2,395 1,022 722 475 2,219
    Wyoming 278 73 20 371 278 84 24 386
    Total 63,775 52,657 19,569 136,001 63,094 55,303 17,416 135,813

    *Other could include private infant adoptions from adoption agencies or adoption attorneys, tribal, and step parent.

    Image credit: aka Quique

    10/02/2012 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 10 Comments


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    10 Responses to How Many Children Are Adopted Each Year in the US

    1. Pingback: Open Homes: Foster Care and Adoption – Part 1: What is the Need, and What Does This Have to do With Hunger, Anyway? | Food Shelf Friday

    2. Rebecca says:

      I read what other people had to say about adopting a child and I agree it is hard to do but at the same time it’s a great thing also cause there are so many Children that need good homes. My dad was adopted twice until they found him a good home to live at and I’m thankful for that and so is he. I have a friend that lost all three of her Children and they went into the Foster care system and she fought for six years to get them back and finally she got two out of the three of her Children back her baby girl was adopted my the father’s parents but it’s ok now cause she still gets to see her daughter every year and she can talk to her on the phone anytime she wants and that makes her very happy and it also does her other two daughters.

    3. Steve says:

      I’d like to find some stats on how many U.S. children are victims of illegal/wrongful/fraud adoptions annually. I’m a grown adult, knew I was adopted as a child, unfortunately went through some sexual, physical, and mental abuse as a result, later placed in boys’ homes. I was raised to believe my father gave permission for the adoption to take place, as my mother was deceased. However, in part of this, I was abducted / kidnapped out of the state, and the adoption took place in another state. At the age of 40 years old I learned the truth about my adoption as I obtained favor with a judge to have my “sealed” adoption records opened. I was appalled at what I was reading, and was able to have copies made to take home and read. I’ve recently learned that the juvenile court to this date still practices the same tactics and this is supposed to be “legal”?! I recently wrote a book about my experience and it became published in March of this year. I truly hope I can help other children and their parents prevent such wrongful adoptions.

    4. Billy says:

      These are statistics ranging from 2007-2008. The amount of overseas adoptions has been drastically halted by U.N. laws, which started being passed from 2000-2006, protecting poor families overseas from the huge demand for adoptable children (especially infants) from the U.S. The demand inside the United States for children that have no attachments has outgrown it’s “supply.” In 2008, a new law was signed by President Bush giving cash incentives to people adopting children from the U.S., giving foster homes double the amount of funding, and giving more Title IV funding to child welfare agencies. This has made some children service state agencies to become overly agressive in removing children from homes across the U.S., and adopting those children to new homes, especially children under the age of 2. The law passed in 2008, Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, has had a big impact on families that are struggling with the recession. Also with the recent epidemic of opiate abuse in the U.S., those adoption numbers will dramatically increase for 2012 and 2013. It’s called supply and demand. One children services worker, recently resigned, had told me in confidence that there are actual bets, placed within State agencies by workers, on which children will get removed out of their homes and adopted. And with the middle class epidemic of bank foreclosures, they are just now starting to remove children from homes of middle and working class families.

    5. Michelle @ Bridge Communications says:

      How did they collect the data? I understand that with international that requires a visa and state wards the state govt can count the numbers but who counted all the rest?

      • Dawn Dawn says:

        Michelle, the data were collected primarily by the following sources: State courts, State bureaus of vital records, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

    6. Sherry says:

      I wish they could seperate the private adoptions and step parent adoptions. Also would love to see a state specific list that has placing mothers statistics. I wonder how disproportionate utah would look!

      • Dawn Dawn says:

        Sherry, I too was frustrated that they lumped step parent adoptions into the “other” category, rather than breaking them out. If I understand it correctly, they didn’t have the ability to do that with the data sources they were working with.

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