Two Million Adopted Children in the United States on Earth Day

Let’s celebrate upcoming Earth Day in style. There are roughly 1.5 million – 2 million adopted children in the United States right now, well over 2% of all U.S. children. But my research parameters change constantly, so by next month this might be outdated info.

The criteria on adoption changes dramatically per year, every time a new international law is passed, or when you consider that a major portion of domestic adoptions  occur when a new step-parents adopt their spouse’s kids. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) gathered adoption totals from a variety of sources, and estimated that 126,951 children were adopted through international, foster care, private agency, independent and step-parent adoptions. NCSC estimated that stepparent adoptions accounted for 42% of all adoptions and foster care adoptions 15%.

When step-parents adopt, that totally skews research for me. If you marry someone and adopt their kids, it’s not like forging an international or domestic adoption journey with total stranger yourself. For the purposes of The Adoption Diaries, I’m always searching for the most updated statistics on domestic adoption, international adoption, and especially those families who adopt after age 40, which is most appropriate to our family’s situation. Over the last year or so, my husband, son Sam (bio son who is six years old) and I had contemplated both local fostering and international adoption. We’ve narrowed down an international Indian adoption perhaps next year.

I just came up on a pretty recent update on how many families in the USA are actively adopting within the last two years. The surge, in some cases, accounts for many single women trying to adopt solo for the first time, according to research by the Adoption Institute in a related study entitled, “The Number of Adoptions Have Fluctuated Over Time.”

For a variety of societal and economic reasons, there have been dramatic fluctuations in the annual number of adoptions. For instance, adoptions skyrocketed from a low of 50,000 in 1944 to a high of 175,000 in 1970.  Think about the difference two decades make… While there are reporting mechanisms for foster care and international adoptions, states are not legally required to record the number of private, domestic adoptions.

Another interesting stat I found on the Adoption Institute site is that nearly 60% of Americans have a personal connection to adoption in their own lives. That is so correct! Since I’ve been writing this column, for instance, I discovered quite by accident that no less than three of my pretty close friends were adopted!  The Adoption Institute’s Public Opinion Benchmark survey found that 58% of Americans know someone who has been adopted, has adopted a child or has relinquished a child for adoption.

And some stats I cannot even get my hands on yet have to do with Single-Parent Adoptions and Gay Parents Adoptions because so many gay parents cannot divulge their true sexual orientations when they choose to adopt. They check off the Single Parent box instead.  What do you think of single, gay parents adopting? I am all for it on The Adoption Diaries — are you?

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff