Challenges in Tracking Adoption Statistics:
Who Cares about Adoption Data? We Do. National Center on State Courts. March, 2014:
How Many Children Were Adopted in 2007 and 2008? Child Welfare Information Gateway. Sept., 2011.
Adopted Children and Stepchildren: 2010. Population Characteristics. U.S. Census Bureau. April, 2014.
Knowing the Numbers: Accessing and Using Child Welfare Data. The First Focus State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC), Sept., 2014.
Provides an overview of data sources that are useful to the child welfare community specifically and answers the following questions: What are the major data sources? What can I do with the data/what can they tell me? How do I access them?
Child welfare adoptions climbed after the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997, peaking at over 57,000 a year in 2009. They have remained above 50,000 each year since that time (AFCARS, 2014).
Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Data on Child Welfare Outcomes: In FFY2013, 101,840 foster children were waiting to be adopted, and 50,608 were adopted that year. In addition 17,664 foster children exited care through guardianships (July, 2014 estimates).
Intercountry adoptions peaked in 2004 at just under 23,000 and then began to decline—a pattern that exists worldwide. The most recent figure reported by the U.S. Department of State for 2013 was 7,092.
U.S. Department of State, Intercountry Adoption Statistics:
Key Tables for Intercountry Adoption: Receiving States 2003-2012; States of Origin 2003-2011. Peter Selman (2013).
Private infant adoptions of voluntarily relinquished newborns have declined nine-fold since the early 1970s (National Survey of Family Growth). These adoptions are not consistently tracked but are estimated to be approximately 14,000 a year (Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2010, p. 8).
Data from the National Survey of Family Growth: Who Adopts? Characteristics of Women and Men Who Have Adopted Children. Jan., 2009 (includes findings on voluntary relinquishments of newborns)