U.S. Domestic Adoption Facts and Statistics

6172826106_8586b765a8Photo courtesy of Children’s Bureau Centennial

Adopting a child or children is an increasingly popular way to expand or create a family.  The fact that adoption numbers are steadily on the rise is nothing but good news for all involved. Long-range studies have shown that children who grow up in orphanages have lower IQ levels and delayed language development than their peers living in foster care or adopted families. Due to a lack of proper care and attention in children’s institutions, those who remain unadopted for long periods of time, their intellectual development suffers. Brain development that occurs soon after being born is often delayed in children who are neglected and under-stimulated.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, has revealed through their Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) that approximately 500,000 United States children do not have a permanent place to call home, but they are lucky enough to be living with a foster family. Among these half a million youngsters, around 115,000 are eligible for permanent adoption. Unfortunately, nearly half of them will likely have at least a three year wait before their “forever family” finds them and adopts them. Older children are far more likely to remain in orphanages or foster care for extended periods of time when compared with infants or very young children/toddlers.

Because many couples or single parents long to raise a child from infancy, many people turn to international adoption because of the high number of babies living in orphanages overseas.  Although a baby may very well be placed with them, the process of adoption internationally can be grueling and usually involves a period of residency in that country by the prospective parents.

Those who wish to avoid the length and intensity of international adoption, turn to domestic adoption in the United States. However, even adopting in your own country has its share of trials, tests, and tribulations (and lots of paperwork). There are also several different types of domestic adoptions, as well:

Closed Adoption – No identifying details about the birth mother or parents is shared with the adoptive family, and vice versa. The families also have no contact before or after the birth and adoption process. Prior to adoption, the prospective parents will receive information about the baby or child, minus any specific, identifying information. Once the adoption is finalized, records are sealed and can only be opened by the child himself when he turns eighteen years old.

Open Adoption – This type of adoption permits a certain level of communication between the birth parent(s), adoptees, and adoptive parents. The communication ranges from pictures and letters to phone calls, letters, and visits. Adoption of an older child is usually open, due to the fact that the child herself  may want to remain in contact with her first family on some level.

Agency Adoption -The details of an Agency Adoption are taken care of by a certified adoption agency.

Private Adoption – All private adoptions involve an intermediary such as a lawyer, doctor, or other facilitator, and do not involve a licensed adoption agency. These types of adoptions will not afford the birth parents or adoptive parents with any assistance throughout the adoption process, and are, in fact, illegal in some states.

Foster Adoption – In these cases, a child who is placed with a foster family with the intention of the family to eventually make the situation official through adoption. It’s also possible to adopt a child directly through the foster care system without fostering them first.

To learn more about which type of domestic adoption would be most suitable for you and your family, visit AdoptUSKids. If  you are ready to enter the adoption process, be sure to have a qualified and knowledgeable attorney by your side to ensure that your adoption remains 100% legal and goes off without a hitch.

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One Response to U.S. Domestic Adoption Facts and Statistics

  1. Pingback: National Adoption Day: Celebrating a Dream Come True | Veitengruber Law

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