Child adoption statistics give insight into worldwide and national trends that can help improve the adoption experience for everyone in the triad. For example, the 2010 National Adoption Awareness Month theme, "You don't have to be perfect to be a parent," was developed from statistics that showed low placement numbers of foster children.
There are over 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. About 25 percent of those children are waiting for adoption and permanent placement. That's over 100,000 children in need of a permanent home. The average age of a foster child is just over 9 and the average time a child spends in the system is over two years.
Statistics can also be beneficial from a worldview. Global conflicts or national issues can affect the number of children being adopted in certain countries. In 2010, international adoption was at the lowest its been since the mid-90s. Statistics may also be skewed due to conflict. Because of ethical suspicions the U.S. no longer counts adoptions from Guatemala, which once contributed to 11 percent of international adoptions and was the country with the largest population-placement ratio in the world.
Child adoption statistics can also help adopters make informed decisions. Statistics about birth mothers and open adoptions, for example, or reports about the contentment of children adopted into interracial families.