There are about 2 million adopted children in the U.S. and over 10 million adult adoptees living in America. Every year, thousands of children from abroad are adopted by American families and over 100,000 American children wait in foster care for their adoptive families.
Adopted children are children who have been either voluntarily placed with an adoptive couple or individual by a birth mother or involuntarily placed in foster care and later with an adoptive family after being removed from his or her birth mother or father. Adopted children are also referred to as adoptees in the adoption triad and community.
Adopted children face many stigmas, some without much credit to them and others with some suggestive research. While not all adoptees can expect to have issues with identity or attachment, it's true that adoptees are more likely than the general population of children their age to have depression, anxiety or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders. It's also possible for adoptees to have attachment disorders, which can disrupt the adoption process. This is more common for adopted children who have had multiple disruptions or adoptees who were malnourished or neglected from a very young age. For internationally adopted children, having a support group and access to cultural outlets can help with understanding one's identity outside of his or her adoptive family.