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Children in foster care waiting for adoption in the United States

Change Indicator

Children in foster care waiting for adoption

Data Provided By

Definitions: Children who have a goal of adoption, and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. Children 16 years old and older whose parents’ parental rights have been terminated and who have a goal of emancipation have been excluded from the estimate.

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.

Data Source: Child Trends analysis of data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), made available through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.
The data used in this publication, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) 2019 #239, were obtained from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and have been used in accordance with its Terms of Use Agreement license. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families, the Children's Bureau, the original dataset collection personnel or funding source, NDACAN, Cornell University and their agents or employees bear no responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here.

Footnotes: Updated June 2021.
N.A. - Data not available.