Foster Adoption: Fast Facts

Interested in foster care? Get the facts, explore resources, and read personal stories about triumphs in the US foster system.

A young girl smiling to learn foster adoption facts

There’s new hope for children in foster care as more and more families are considering foster adoption. At the end of FY 2017 (most recent statistics, reported August 2018), 123,437 children in the U.S. foster care system are waiting for permanent, loving families.

Here you’ll find resources for foster adoption, personal stories by families who adopted foster children, and links to national organizations to help you get started.

Foster Care Statistics

  • There are approximately 69,525 children in the U.S. foster care system whose parental rights have been terminated and who are waiting to be adopted.
  • In 2017, 59,430 children were adopted from foster care.
  • Average age of waiting children: 7.6 years old.
  • Race/ethnicity of waiting children: 44% Caucasian, 22% African-American, 22% Latino.
  • Gender of waiting children: 52% male, 48% female.
  • The average child in foster care waiting to be adopted has been in the system for 30.9 months.
  • In 2017, nearly 20,000 children aged out of foster care without a permanent family.

Foster Adoption: The Basics

Foster Adoption Personal Stories

  • “Fostering Love”: The emotional risks were daunting. But foster adoption was still the best option for me.

Making Older Child Adoption Work

  • “Keys to Easing Adjustment”: Children do not want to be different from their peers. Giving them the skill to answer intrusive and embarrassing questions is critical.

Great Books on Foster Adoption

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Adoption Agencies with U.S. Foster Adoption Programs

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See all adoption agencies with U.S. foster adoption programs >


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