Where the Numbers Come From
The federal government tracks the numbers of adoptions from the U.S. foster care system, and international adoptions; however, since 1992, numbers of private agency and independent adoptions have not been formally reported. The 2000 Census, for the first time in history, included questions about adopted children in the household.
How Many Children Are Adopted Each Year?
It is estimated that around 120,000 children are adopted by U.S. citizens each year. Approximately half of these children are adopted by individuals not related to them (called "stranger adoptions") and about half are adopted by relatives such as grandparents or stepparents. Anecdotal evidence indicates that stepparents are the largest single group of adopters.