Thinking about adopting? You’ll find no shortage of articles about the ins and outs of the process online but the things you may not know will surprise you. Check out these 13 amazing facts about adoption!

  1. There are over 400,000 children in the U.S. system alone, this number includes foster care and over 100,000 of these are waiting for adoption. This means that out of all the children currently living in the U.S., 2% of them are adopted.
  2. Females who chose to adopt tend to be older, in fact over half of all mothers who adopt are over the age of 40. This number is comparative to those females who have not had children.
  3. Male children outnumber females in the foster care and adoption systems and a higher proportion of those males are African American.
  4. Famous adoptees include people such as Faith Hill, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou and John Lennon, to name just a few!
  5. The phrase “to put up” for adoption goes back to the mid 1800’s. At that time homeless children were ferried into farm regions via train and put onto the train platforms to see if anyone would take them home.
  6. On average a child in foster care will spend five years in the system before ever being adopted.
  7. The time it takes to find a child for adoption depends on the factors you prefer like age and race. For example, parents who are searching for a Caucasian baby located in the U.S. may wait as long as five years to find a child through an agency. On the other side of that coin, the waiting list to adopt an African American child is weeks or months. African American males will also adopt out quicker than other demographics.
  8. It is also interesting to note that adopting a Caucasian baby will actually cost the adoptive parents more, averaging as high as $40,000 versus an African American child whose adoption fees can be between $10,000 and $12,000.
  9. Adopted children will often find themselves in families that have adopted before, sometimes with as many as three other adopted siblings.
  10. In the U.S. adoptive parents tend to prefer babies and toddlers as well as girls over boys.
  11. Americans have adopted children internationally at the highest rate with that number peaking in 2011. International adoptions occurred in countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and the Ukraine. In recent years tighter regulations on international adoption have cause the number to drop significantly.
  12. In the U.S. adopting within one’s family is one of the most common methods of adoption with nearly 100 million adoptees being taken in by their immediate family members.
  13. Lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual couples are legally allowed to adopt in every state minus one – the state of Florida. This prejudice persist even though recent studies show that same-sex couples who adopt are generally more education and have greater financial resources than the equivalent hetero-sexual couple.