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

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Definitions: Children and youth from birth up to age 20 in the child welfare system who have been adopted by age. 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 up to age 20 regardless of their state limit.

Percent estimates in each age group are based on the total ages 0 to 20 where age is known. Missing age data are excluded from percentage and frequency distributions. Age at adoption was calculated as the difference between the child’s date of birth and date of adoption finalization. In the AFCARS adoption file, only the month and year of the child’s birth are provided, so the date of children’s birth was imputed as being on the 15th day of the month. 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.

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