There are an estimated 510,000 children in foster care in the United States, and more than 129,000 of them are waiting to be adopted. Through no fault of their own, these children enter foster care as a result of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment.
The average child waits for an adoptive family for more than two years. Nineteen percent spend five years or more waiting for a family (24,300 children), and the average age of a child waiting for an adoptive family is eight years old.
Although 51,000 children are adopted from foster care every year, 26,000 children reach the age of 18 without ever finding a forever family.
Who adopts from foster care?
Children in foster care are adopted by three types of families: former foster parents (59%), relatives (26%) and non-relatives (15%).
Of the families who adopt children from foster care, 69% are married couples, 26% are single females, 3% are single males, and 2% are unmarried couples.
A national survey in 2007 revealed that 48 million Americans have considered adoption from foster care – more so than any other form of adoption, including private adoption of an infant or international adoption.
Public adoption from foster care is inexpensive – in fact, most adoptions from foster care are free. In addition, many children in foster care are eligible for monthly subsidies even after they are adopted.