Adoption in America

6 Feb

I came across a very interesting adoption infographic today that I wanted to share:

From the USC School of Social Work (via msw.usc.edu)

(source:  http://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/adoption-infographic/)

A couple of comments and things that stood out to me:

  • I’m not a fan of their use of “orphan” to describe the children who are adopted.  While their usage is technically accurate – at least from a legal perspective – when most people think of orphans, they think of children whose parents have died.  I have never considered my two adopted children to be “orphans” because their birth parents are all living.
  • I’m a little surprised that the overwhelmingly majority of adoptive parents (75%) are white.
  • I wonder if same-sex couples were placed in the married or unmarried couple section in the adoptive parents pie chart.
  • I’d love to know more about single men who have adopted.  Are they going through the foster system, agencies, or what?  I have a strange suspicion that trying to adopt as a single male would be harder than being a single woman, unmarried (hetero) couple, or a gay/lesbian couple.
  • Wow.  Look at the orphan numbers in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Just…wow.
  • I’d like to see the numbers on adoptive parents who experienced a failed adoption prior to placement.  I’ve always heard it is around 1 in 3, but hard numbers would be interesting.
  • I’d also like to see the number of open adoptions, especially among U.S. children.  The increase in open adoption has been a game changer, and I think it is a part of the reason why adoptions have increased 15% since 1990.
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2 Responses to “Adoption in America”

  1. janetm67 May 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    “I’d also like to see the number of open adoptions, especially among U.S. children. ” That would be interesting indeed though “open” would need to be defined. The adoption agency we went through defined “open” as all contact being moderated by the agency and no last names shared. Most of us birthmonsters (kidding) do not consider that to be open.

    • Feit Can Write May 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

      Good point – “open” is a pretty ambiguous term. For the purposes of a survey like this, I’d probably define is having an expectation of contact (in any form) between child and birth parent(s) – either from the birth parent or the adoptive family.

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