Updated Adoption Stats for Kids in Foster Care

Posted September 17, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Adoption statistics for kids in foster care

The num­ber of chil­dren in fos­ter care and await­ing adop­tion has increased annu­al­ly for the last five years. In 2016 — the most recent full year for which data are avail­able — near­ly 118,000 kids fit this statistic.

For these chil­dren, we know that:

  • 41% lived in six states: Ari­zona, Cal­i­for­nia, Flori­da, New York, Okla­homa and Texas.
  • 45% were 5 years old or younger.
  • 28% had been await­ing adop­tion for at least three years.
  • 26% of kids in Illi­nois and New York — the two states with the longest road to adop­tion — had been await­ing adop­tion for at least five years.

Also in 2016: About 57,200 kids in fos­ter care were adopt­ed into a fam­i­ly. For these chil­dren, we know that:

  • A third were adopt­ed by a relative.
  • More than 50% were 5 years old or younger.
  • 49% were iden­ti­fied as non-His­pan­ic white.

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

Fos­ter Care and Adop­tion Indicators

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

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