When couples think about the kind of child they want to adopt, one of the first things they may decide on is the gender. Female infants are among the most popularly sought after children in domestic and international adoption.
The Census Bureau released a report in 2003 that number of male and female children in biological and adopted families differ greatly. For every 100 biological female children in the population, there are about 105 males under the age of 18. In adopted families the number of females to males under the age of 6 are 100 to 85, respectively. About 63 percent of all international adoptees from the last 10 years are female, according to the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
However, these numbers oppose the gender ratio within the foster care system. The gender percentages of male to female children in 2009 were 53 and 47 percent, respectively. Also, about a thousand more male children were adopted from the public foster care system in 2009.
Some private and public agencies disallow adopters to make a gender preference on their first child. This may be in part due to first-time parents' perception that females are easier to raise and less aggressive and disobedient than male children. It's also a common perception that girls are easier to nurture. However, part of the reason may be that a couple matched with a birth mother may do so before knowing the expected gender of the child.