Foster Care Adoption
Adopt a child through foster care. Articles for mothers and fathers.

Foster Care Statistics

The following are basic statistics offered by the US Department of Health & Human Services as of January 2007:

Trend

Fiscal year 2000

Fiscal year 2005

Entering Foster Care

293,000

311,000

In Care

552,000

514,000

Exits

272,000

287,000

Parental Rights Terminated

73,000

67,000

Waiting

131,000

115,000

Adopted

51,000

52,000

Served

811,000

800,000

 

Definition of Trends:

Entering Foster Care = an estimate of the number of children coming into foster care during the fiscal year.

In Care = an estimate of the number of children currently in foster care on the last day of the fiscal year.

Exits = an estimate of the number of children that leave foster care by the end of the fiscal year.  Each child is only counted once during the year even if they come into foster care, leave, and return to foster care and leave again.  Due to the frequency of children returning to the foster care system this number can be deceptive if not taken into the right context.

Parental Rights Terminated = an estimate of the number of children in foster care whose parents' rights have been terminated and are awaiting adoption.

Waiting = an estimate of the number of children that are heading for adoption or their parents' rights have been terminated.  This number also excludes children ages 16 and older who are legally free for adoption but are awaiting emancipation.

Adopted = an estimate of the number of children that were adopted with service from a public child welfare agency.

Served = An estimate of the total number of children served by foster care whether entering, currently placed in foster care or leaving foster care.  As with the exit trend a child is only counted once per fiscal year regardless of entries and exits.

According to the National Foster Care Association data as of September 30, 2003. Of these

foster children, 52 percent were male and 48 percent were female.  It was also found that in 1980 the number of children of color in foster care was 46 percent while in 2002 that number increased to 61 percent. 

 

According to 2002 data from Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), the average age of children in foster care was 10.2 years.