22 Unbelievable Stats about Adoption

Chances are, you know someone who was adopted. It’s no surprise since approximately 7 million Americans — including an astounding 1.5 million children in the United States — were adopted, according to the Adoption Network Law Center. Want to know more about the ever-changing, fascinating world of adoption? Check out these 22 unbelievable stats about adoption.

1. 6 in 10 Americans have had a personal experience with adoption.

2. Nearly 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate families.

3. Approximately 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year.

4. Approximately 428,000 children are in foster care in the United States.

5. Every year, there are about 1.3 million abortions. Only 4 percent of women with unwanted pregnancies place their children for adoption.

6. The majority of women who place their babies for adoption are in their mid-twenties.

7. The typical age range for birth mothers is early teens to late thirties.

8. Many birth mothers are already parenting at least one child.

9. Birth parent grief often lasts a lifetime, with approximately three-quarters of birth mothers still experiencing feelings of grief and loss 12-20 years after placement.

10. Overall, the number of babies placed for adoption is falling. In fact, only 18,000 infants were placed for adoption in 2014, compared to 80,000 in 1971.

11. Adopting abroad has become harder. Only 5,400 children were adopted internationally in 2016, compared to 23,000 in 2004, according to the State Department.

12. The total number of adoptions in the U.S. has fallen from around 133,000 in 2007 to approximately 110,000 in 2014.

13. The 2017 Federal Adoption Tax Credit is $13,570, which helps offset the cost of adoption. Adopters with a modified adjusted gross income of $203,540 or less qualify for this credit. 

14. The cost to adopt a child ranges from $0-$40,000+, with foster care adoption costing nothing to very little, licensed private agency adoptions ranging from $5,000-$40,000, and international adoptions often costing more than $30,000.

15. The average age of a child waiting in foster care is around 8 years old.

16. More than half of kids in foster care will be reunited with their biological families. 

17. Nearly one-quarter of children in foster care will be adopted. Foster parents adopt many of these kids.

18. 62 percent of children adopted privately are placed with their families as infants less than 1-year-old. 

19. Almost half of the children who were adopted privately are only children in their adoptive homes.

20. Only 1 percent of domestic adoptions were open twenty years ago.

21. Today, approximately 60-70 percent of domestic adoptions are open. 

22. 99 percent of adopted children age 5 and older know they were adopted and 90 percent have positive feelings about their adoption.

Sources: Adoption Network Law Center, The Economist, The National Council for Adoption, AdoptHelp, FindLaw, Child Welfare Information Gateway, ABC News, Creating a Family.