Adoption and Foster Care Current Trends

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July 8, 2005 at 10:53 am  •  Posted in Adoptions and Foster Care by  •  0 Comments

Adoption Statistics and Trends
Adoption Options
Financial Resoures for Adoptive Families
Post-Adoption Assistance for Families
Foster Care Statistics and Trends
Children and Teens in Foster Care

Adoption Statistics and Trends
  • Since 1987, the number of adoptions annually in the United States has remained consistent from 118,000 to 127,000 children.
  • Adoption costs range from no cost to more than $40,000. Foster care adoptions are the least expensive, costing a maximum of $2,500. Independent adoptions tend to be the most expensive. Intercountry adoption fees range from $7,000 to $30,000, but additional fees may include travel, translation fees, and other expenses.
  • In a 2003 study, a majority (60%) of adoption agencies accepted applications from gay or lesbian couples and 40 percent had already placed children in GLBT homes.
  • Foster parents are strongly encouraged to adopt children in their care.
  • In the past, child welfare agencies did not consider placing children with relatives when the children were in foster care due to abuse or neglect. Today, more agencies are working with extended families on successful kinship adoptions.
Adoption Options
  • Kinship adoptions: when a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative adopts a child
  • Adoption from the foster care system
  • Adoption from the United States using a public agency, private agency, or an attorney
  • Open adoption, in which adoptive parents have information about or contact with birth parents before, during, or after placement (not legal in all states)
  • Adoption from another country through a licensed adoption organization
Financial Resources for Adoptive Parents
  • Federal adoption subsidies for eligible children (special needs)
  • State adoption subsidies for children from foster care
  • Federal and state tax credits
  • Employer benefits, such as paid or unpaid leave of absence, reimbursement for adoption expenses, assistance with adoption services
  • Adoption loans and grants for eligible parents
  • College tuition and scholarship programs for youth aging out of foster care
Post-Adoption Assistance for Families
  • Counseling and psychotherapy
  • Educational services
  • Support groups
Foster Care Statistics and Trends
  • More than 500,000 children live in foster care in the United States.
  • Foster care placements have increased dramatically in the past 10 years.
  • African American children make up two-thirds of the foster care population and stay in foster care longer than other children.
  • Children are placed temporarily in foster care due to parental problems, such as abuse, neglect, substance abuse, abandonment, and incarceration.
  • Most states encourage programs that provide birth parents with support so that their children can return home.
  • Child agencies attempt to place children with relatives. In 2001, 24 percent were living in relative homes and nearly 50 percent were living in foster family homes.
  • The average foster care stay is 32 months.
Children and Teens in Foster Care
  • The average age of children in foster care is 10.
  • More than 30 percent of children in foster care have severe emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems.
  • Nearly 20,000 youth age out of foster care at age 18 each year. Without support and community services, they are vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse, and incarceration.
  • In a study of former foster care children, only 54 percent earned a high school diploma, 84 percent became a parent from 12 to 18 months after leaving foster care, and 25 percent had been homeless.

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