September 17, 2018

Adoption Stats for Kids in Foster Care Get Updated

Adoption statistics for kids in foster care

The number of children in foster care and awaiting adoption has increased annually for the last five years. In 2016 — the most recent full year for which data are available — nearly 118,000 kids fit this statistic.

For these children, we know that:

  • 41% lived in six states: Arizona, California, Florida, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • 45% were 5 years old or younger.
  • 28% had been awaiting adoption for at least three years.
  • 26% of kids in Illinois and New York — the two states with the longest road to adoption — had been awaiting adoption for at least five years.

Also in 2016: About 57,200 kids in foster care were adopted into a family. For these children, we know that:

  • A third were adopted by a relative.
  • More than 50% were 5 years old or younger.
  • 49% were identified as non-Hispanic white.

One particularly encouraging statistic? The incidence of relatives adopting children in foster care has increased 31% since 2011.

Foster Care and Adoption Indicators

Explore more child welfare data — at the national and state level — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.