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Children in child welfare system who have been adopted in the United States

Change Indicator

Data Provided By

Definitions: Children and youth in the child welfare system who were adopted during the current fiscal year. Some states allow children to remain in the foster care system until their 18th birthday while other states have age limits that extend a few years beyond this. The current indicator includes children of all ages. National estimates include Puerto Rico.

The following three types of adoption are included in tabulations: 1. Children placed for adoption by the public child welfare agency; 2. children who have been in the public foster care system and were placed for adoption by a private agency under contract with the public child welfare agency; and 3. children in whose adoption the public child welfare agency was involved but who had not been in the public foster care system (e.g., children who received Title IV-E funds for nonrecurring costs of adoption).

Data Source: Child Trends analysis of data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). The data were made available by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and have been used with permission.

Data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) were originally collected by the Children’s Bureau. Funding for the project was provided by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The collector of the original data, the funder, the Archive, Cornell University and their agents or employees bear no responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here.

Footnotes: Updated June 2021.
National estimates include cases where the location is unidentified.
N.A. - Data not available.