In the last decade, the U.S. Census has attempted to collect national demographics on the adoption community. The data have helped the government estimate that there are over 7 million adult adoptees in America and 1.5 child adoptees. About 140,000 children are adopted every year and there are nearly half a million children in the U.S. foster care system. China is the leading partner in international adoption. These are all adoption facts that, while interesting to know, are probably not as helpful as social research about adoption.
Fortunately, adoption can be such a different experience for everyone these days that there are few things that all adoptions can be said to have in common. The customized experience is a fact of adoption. There are agencies, attorneys and methods that provide a range of adoptive processes, which doesn't mean there aren't a few unwritten adoption facts. Nontraditional adopters, for example, are more likely to be placed with a child with special needs.
Most adoption facts are related to the laws regulating adoptions. All adoptions require an adopter to pass a home study. All adoptions must be finalized by the state. All birth parents must voluntarily or involuntarily terminate their parental rights to the child before that child can be considered available for adoption. Other laws are governed by the state. It's not illegal in any state for a single person to adopt a child. However, Florida is the only state that openly bans gay and lesbian adoption while the majority of the U.S. chooses to leave the lines fuzzy for these adopters.
Few things about adoption are clearly black and white. Even the numbers haven't reached a stasis, as international adoptions have reached a low it hasn't seen in over a decade.