Select Adoption Statistics for Kids in Foster Care

Posted May 16, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

In recognition of National Foster Care Month, the KIDS COUNT Data Center is highlighting key child welfare data on the site.

In 2015, nearly 112,000 kids were in foster care waiting to be adopted. For these children, we know that:

  • Twenty-four percent lived in California or Texas.
  • Twenty-eight percent had been waiting at least three years to be adopted.
  • Kids in Illinois had the longest road to adoption, with nearly one in three waiting at least five years.

In 2015, about 53,500 kids in America’s child welfare system were adopted into a family. For these children, we know that:

  • One in three was adopted by a relative.
  • Fifty-six percent were 5 years old or younger.
  • Forty-eight percent fit into the racial and ethnic category of non-Hispanic white.


One particularly encouraging statistic? The incidence of relatives adopting children in foster care has increased 31% since 2011.

Explore more child welfare data — at the national and state level — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Children in foster care waiting for adoption
Children in foster care waiting for adoption by amount of time waiting
Children in foster care waiting for adoption by age group
Children in foster care waiting for adoption by race and Hispanic origin
Children in child welfare system who have been adopted
Children in child welfare system who have been adopted by age group
Children in child welfare system who have been adopted by pre-adoptive relationship with adoptive parents
Children in child welfare system who have been adopted by race and Hispanic origin

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