Adoption Statistics

  • There are millions of orphans in the world just waiting for a family.
  • There are thousands of families looking to adopt each year.
  • 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption, meaning that they themselves, a family member, or a close friend was adopted, had adopted a child, or had placed a child for adoption. (Evan B. Donaldson Institute, 1997)
  • It is estimated that about 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents. (Stolley, 1993)

Adoption statistics for mothers who place a child for adoption:

Significantly, unwed mothers who choose adoption do better than mothers who choose to be single parents:

  • They have higher educational aspirations, are more likely to finish school, and less likely to live in poverty and receive public assistance than mothers who keep their children.
  • They delay marriage longer are more likely to marry eventually, and are less likely to divorce.
  • They are more likely to be employed 12 months after the birth and less likely to repeat out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
  • They are no more likely to suffer negative psychological consequences, such as depression, than are mothers who rear children as single parents.

Source: McLaughlin SD, Manninen DL, Winges LD, Do Adolescents Who Relinquish Their Children Fare Better or Worse Than Those Who Raise Them? Family Planning Perspectives, 20:1 (Jan. – Feb., 1988), pp. 25-32

Adoption statistics for adopted children:

Adopted children do as well as or better than their non-adopted counterparts, according to a 1994 study by the Search Institute, a Minneapolis-based public policy research organization providing leadership, knowledge and resources to promote healthy children, youth and communities. This study, the largest examination of adopted adolescents yet undertaken, concludes:

  • Teens who were adopted at birth are more likely than children born into intact families to live with two parents in a middle-class family.
  • Adopted children score higher than their middle-class counterparts on indicators of school performance, social competency, optimism and volunteerism.
  • Adopted adolescents generally are less depressed than children of single parents and less involved in alcohol abuse, vandalism, group fighting, police trouble, weapon use and theft.
  • Adopted adolescents score higher than children of single parents on self-esteem, confidence in their own judgment, self-directedness, positive view of others and feelings of security within their families.
  • On health measures, adopted children and children of intact families share similarly high scores, and both those groups score significantly higher than children raised by single parents.
  • Seven percent of children adopted in infancy repeated a grade, while 12 percent of children living with both biological parents repeated a grade.
  • Compared with the general child population, children placed with adoptive couples are better off economically.

Data indicates that adopted children:

  • Do better in educational attainment than single parent children and children raised by grandparents.
  • Enjoy a quality of home environment superior to all the other groups.
  • Have superior access to health care compared to all other groups.
  • There are more than 118,000 children in public foster care awaiting adoption (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005).

Additional Information:  

Since the following information changes from year to year in order to assure you receive the most accurate statistical information from Adoption & Beyond the following information is available upon request:

  • The number of children eligible for adoption and awaiting an adoptive placement referral via Adoption & Beyond, Inc.
  • Statistics for the past three calendar years regarding:
    • The number of prospective adoptive parents who apply for services each year
    • The number of adoptive placements Adoption & Beyond, Inc. has made
    • The percentage of those placements that have disrupted or dissolved