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November 2022Vol. 23, No. 9Adoption: By the Numbers

The National Council for Adoption (NCFA) published a research report, Adoption by the Numbers, that presents data on the number of adoptions in the United States in 2019 and 2020. This report differs from other adoption number reports by providing an estimate of the number of private domestic adoptions in the United States, which is not otherwise reported by government or nongovernment organizations. NCFA compiled data about private domestic adoptions, intercountry adoptions, and adoptions from foster care to provide an estimate of the total number of adoptions in the United States.

In addition to the estimate, this report also discusses policies that impact private domestic adoptions and reflects on the effect of COVID-19 on adoption. They found that intercountry, private domestic (excluding stepparent), and foster care adoptions all declined sharply between 2019 and 2020.

The report presents the following policy recommendations:

  • Federal reporting of private domestic adoptions
  • Discretionary funding to support adoption-informed education
  • Support for adoption service providers impacted by COVID-19

Researchers can use these data to better understand domestic adoption trends in the United States. Additionally, policymakers can use these data as a reference when considering and developing legislation.

Read the full report, including state-level data, on the NCFA website.