These numbers give a broad picture of the number of children in foster care during FY 2012.
Point in Time. On September 30, 2012, there were an estimated 399,546 children in foster care.
Entries. During FY 2012, 254,162 children entered foster care.
Exits. During FY 2012, 241,254 children exited foster care.
Trends. From FY 2003 to FY 2012, the numbers of children in foster care on September 30 and the numbers of children who entered and who exited care during the year decreased. See Foster Care Statistics 2012 page.
Most Americans favor adoption; many have at some point considered adoption. However, relatively few have taken concrete steps toward adopting a child, and fewer still have actually adopted a child. This factsheet examines some of the more recent statistics and trends regarding American adults who seek to adopt an infant or child. The majority of data come from the National Survey of Family Growth (Jones, 2008, 2009) and the National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey (Harris Interactive and the Dave Thomas Foundation, 2007). See Persons Seeking to Adopt Statistics 2011 page.
What is disruption?
The term disruption is used to describe an adoption process that ends after the child is placed in an adoptive home and before the adoption is legally finalized, resulting in the child’s return to (or entry into) foster care or placement with new adoptive parents.
What is dissolution?
The term dissolution is generally used to describe an adoption in which the legal relationship between the adoptive parents and adoptive child is severed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, after the adoption is legally finalized. This results in the child’s return to (or entry into) foster care or placement with new adoptive parents. See Adoption Disruption and Dissolution Statistics page.
This section includes charts showing the number of incoming adoption by country of origin, incoming adoptions by state, outgoing adoptions, and disrupted adoptions. See International Adoption Statistical Charts page.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories have child abuse and neglect reporting laws that mandate certain professionals and institutions to report suspected maltreatment to a child protective services (CPS) agency. See Maltreatment Statistics page.
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