According to the recently released Adoption By The Numbers provided by the National Council For Adoption—and although adoption numbers have risen and declined during various years since 1951—there has been a steady increase of unrelated adoptions culminating to 63% recorded in 2014.

Does this mean fewer people are adopting relatives? I don’t think so. It is likely related adoption numbers haven’t changed much through the years. Relatives taking in and adopting children whose birth parents are unable to care for them is something that is not trendy, but rather, a consistent responsibility that is expected to be fulfilled.

That being said, it is likely the work of many individuals, agencies, corporations and movements seeking to educate and bring awareness about adoption, are all meeting with success. With the average individual being aware of and, probably personally, touched by adoption in some way, there is greater acceptance of adoption ideology. With greater acceptance comes increased financial governmental support. Additionally, more individuals and couples have a desire to help children in need, some even choose to adopt waiting children rather than having biological children.

So while relatives are still stepping forward for loved ones needing forever families, consistently caring and eventually adopting them, more and more non-related individuals and couples are setting aside the old ideology that “blood is thicker than water” and are openly accepting and loving children who are not biologically theirs. This is the reason for the statistical change through the years in related versus non-related adoptions.