Adoption is a process that brings together babies in need of an affectionate family and couples or singles looking to become parents but can’t (or won’t) have their own offspring. In fact, hundreds of thousands of children are adopted around the world each year, so if you’re thinking about it, you are definitely not alone!
Overall, the adoption process creates two types of opportunities. First, it allows children to grow and develop in a loving, family environment. And second, it helps couples and singles create the families they want even when the natural process is not possible.
Still, adopting a child is not easy. There are various legal implications and requirements in order to make sure the future parents are fit to adopt a child (both mentally and financially). Plus, it’s important to make sure you are prepared to care for a baby or a child – parenting is not an easy feat!
So if you’re considering adoption or you’re just looking to know more, here are a few statistics you should know:
1. Yearly, 100,000+ Children Wait to be Adopted in the US
Between 2007 and 2020, the US foster system had over 100,000 children in its care every year. Still, in 2020, there was a slight drop in the number of children waiting to be adopted as there were around 117,470 children vs. 133,682 in 2007.
Still, the number didn’t go below 100,00 in the last 13 years of data collection. The lowest number of children in the system was registered in 2012 when there were 101,945 children waiting for adoption in the US.
2. 60% – 70% of Adoptions are Open Adoptions
According to the Act of Love Adoption Agency, a well-known Utah adoption agency, many parents (birth and adoptive) opt for open adoptions. Of course, this is not the only option, but many adoptive parents agree to have the birth parents in their child’s life.
This is a great way to help the kid(s) understand what adoption is and cope with the fact that their mommies and daddies are a bit different. However, for this type of relationship to work, everyone involved needs to be mature about the situation and place the children’s interests under the spotlight.
3. Adoption is more Common than You Think
It may surprise you (especially if you didn’t get in direct contact with adoptions), but almost 100 million Americans have someone in their immediate family who has been adopted.
This means that 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption whether they were the ones adopted or someone in their immediate circle of friends and family members.
4. 2% of US People Have Actually Adopted a Child
While this may seem like a small number, it still is significant as it helped a lot of kids find warm and loving homes. Also, one-third of US citizens have thought about adopting and may even have considered it as a serious option.
In many cases, restrictive laws, social norms, or financial issues have prevented them from going through with their intention to adopt.
5. Most Adopted Children are Non-Hispanic White
According to Adoption Network, 37% of the kids adopted in the US are non-Hispanic white. On the other hand, 73% of adoptive parents are also non-Hispanic white. In many cases (around 40%), the adopted child comes from a different race, culture, or ethnicity than the adoptive parents.
This can create a gap in communication between parents and children, but it’s nothing you can’t handle with love, care, and proper education.
If you’re thinking about adoption, there are lots of children in need of a loving family in the US alone. However, before you start the process, make sure you understand that a child comes with great responsibilities and requires time and attention.
Also, education and socialization are important skills children should learn in their formative years so they can cope with their situation, which is a bit different from the norm (when the time comes).