The Number of Foster Care Adoptions Hits a Record High
A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the number of foster care children being adopted has reached a record high. The number comes from 2018, which is the most recent year with complete data. The study shows that over 63,000 foster care children were adopted in 2018, an increase of nearly 25% over 2014.
In all, about one in four foster children left the system to be adopted. This is definitely welcome news. If you are interested in adoption, contact our Media adoption attorney for help.
Young Children Most Likely to Be Adopted
Continuing what has been a long-standing trend, children under five years of age were most likely to be adopted. Almost half of those adopted were under this age. Many parents believe that adopting a baby eases the integration process and therefore look for a young child.
We encourage prospective parents to consider their options. Adopting a teenager comes with many challenges. However, teens are better able to say what they need and might be grateful to find a loving home. Couples considering adoption might start by becoming foster parents.
Fewer Children in Foster Care
Not only are more children being adopted, but fewer children are in the foster system. Pew found that about 437,000 children were in foster care, which was a lower number than the year before. However, the number has increased dramatically since 2010, thanks to the opioid crisis. Many parents who suddenly fell to drug addiction were unable to care for their children, which led to a ballooning of the number of children in foster care.
Extended Family Often Adopt Children
Some children enter foster care temporarily, only to be reunited later with parents who undergo drug treatment or otherwise get their lives back in order. However, Pew found that fewer children are actually being reunited.
In some cases, extended family members step up and adopt or at least seek legal guardianship of the child. This is often an attractive option, since the child benefits from the extended family network and can remain in contact with grandparents and others. The child might also stay in contact with the biological parents.
Some Adoptions Fail
Statistics also show that up to 5% of adoptions fail. Many foster care children have been abused or neglected, which can show up in behavioral issues. For example, children who have been abandoned might respond negatively to being put in “time out” when they act up, since they believe that they are being abandoned again.
Parents who are interested in adopting out of the foster care system should inquire about family preservation services, such as training for how to meet the needs of children who might have a drug addiction or other trauma.
Interested in Adoption?
Barbara Flum Stein & Associates has helped many people in Media and Delaware County with their adoptions. We can discuss whether adoption is right for you, along with the type of adoption you prefer. We can then assist you in the process. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.