American Adoption Statistics

September 16th, 2008

I thought this was a really interesting article– and one that really took me by surprise.

The CDC looked at recent adoption figures and says that men are two times as likely to adopt than women. The report says 2.3% of men and 1.1% of women in America have adopted. My initial thought was- men often marry women with children and adopt them as their own. And I love being right… that’s what the article says! Another trend that appears to be rising is adoption by same-sex couples. Since gay women have the option to carry their own children, gay men have no other choice but to adopt if they want a family.

Another statistic this article points out is that black Americans are more likely to adopt than white. The broad majority of both black and white adopters would accept a child of another race.

Here’s a snippet from the article about the “ideal” child women would like to adopt:
“The CDC survey asked women seeking to adopt what they wanted in a child. The preferred child is younger than 2 years old, free of disabilities, and is an only child. Women would prefer to adopt a girl rather than a boy.” That said, 90% would accept a child with minor disabilities, 79% would accept a child aged 2-5, 75% would accept siblings. More than 60% of women would not take a child over the age of 13, nor would they take a child with severe disabilities.

These are interesting facts. More so to me as the adoption conversation is one that has occurred more and more frequently. We agree that we want to be parents, so if we find our way to our baby through adoption or IVF, we’ll be parents either way. Adoption would possibly satisfy our urge to be parents much more quickly. Given the government rebates and employer reimbursement- the cost to us would be minimal. There’s still a lot of soul-searching to be done… it’s something we’ve always talked about doing even before the infertility. I think we’re set on a course now for actionable decisions though.