Numbers of Surrenders and Adoptions in the U.S.
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* The U. S. has about three times more adoptions per live birth than other Western nations, based on estimates of the numbers of adoptions. (Wikipedia, "Adoption," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoption#cite_note-50).
* The number of U.S. mothers surrendering their babies to adoption has reportedly increased in recent years, due to hard economic times. (Koch, Wendy. "Struggling Families Look at Adoption," May 19, 2009, USA Today; Masenthin, Tricia. "Domestic Adoption in Struggling Economy" AdoptionSuite101. Jan. 22, 2009).
* The number of U.S. parents who surrender children for adoption is unknown. The 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) is the only national source of information on "voluntary" surrenders for adoption. According to the survey, 1.7% of White single women and near 0% of African American single women who gave birth surrendered their children for adoption from 1989 to 1995 (Chandra, Abma, Maza, & Bachrach, 1999, cited in NAIC, "Voluntary Relinquishment for Adoption: Numbers and Trends," March 2005.)
* The number of children who are adopted per year in the U.S. is unknown. The federal government estimates that 127,407 children were adopted in the United States in 2001. Of these, 108,351 were domestic adoptions and 19,056 were intercountry adoptions. However, the report noted, "There is no single source for the total number of children adopted in the United States, and there is currently no straightforward way of determining the total number of adoptions, even when multiple sources of data are used" (http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_adopted/s_adoptedb.cfm). The study's estimates were derived from: (1) contacting public adoption agencies, (2) conducting follow-up, (3) contacting private agencies, and (4) contacting bureaus of vital records (http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_adopted/s_adoptedc.cfm). (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2004. How many children were adopted in 2000 and 2001? Washington, DC: Child Welfare Information Gateway. www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/s_adopted/index.cfm).
* Unknown numbers of infants are exported from the U.S. each year for adoption in other countries. In 1994, adoption experts estimated that 500 U.S. children--most of them African American or bi-racial--were being placed in homes in Australia, Canada and Western Europe each year." Time reported, "The number could be even higher: because the U.S. has no exit-visa requirements, the federal government does not keep count." Because the government does not keep count, current numbers and trends are unknown (Smolowe, Jill, Aug. 22, 1994, "Babies for Export," Time).