Men In USA Adopt More Than Women

Armen Hareyan's picture

The first of its kind survey uncovers adoption habits and stereotypes of U.S. parents. Survey found that men are twice more likely to adopt children than women.

Common stereotype of adopting parents is a white couple adopting children from abroad, but this survey reveals that the reality doesn't exactly match the actual situation.

Researchers from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center examined data from 2002 National Survey of Family Growth involving 12000 men and women. US government was conducting similar surveys regularly starting from 1970, but these surveys involved only women.


The newer adoption tracking survey found that during the period of March 2002 and February 2003 there were about 1.3 million men who adopted compared to 613,000 women. Single adults have more women (100,000) adopting children than men (73000), but still men have higher rates of adopting than women.

Researchers and adoption organizations don't think the finding is surprising and they expected the results to be the way they are. Imagine a scenario when a married couple with children falls apart: children usually stay with the mother, then the woman gets married to another man who automatically adopts her children. This is a very typical and frequently occurring case, and these cases are mainly increasing adoption rates in men. Minorities were found to adopt more than whites, which is also a major difference between the stereotypes and the reality.

Overall adoption rates are not high: only 1% of women aged from 18 to 44 have ever adopted a child, compared to 2.3% of men. According to CDC's 2000 statistics, about 2.5% of children under 18 are adopted, which accounts for 1.6 million children. Currently, there are about 50000 children being adopted each year in US.

Researchers also found that the number adoptions from other counties increased from 7000 in 1990 to 19000 in 2001, which accounts for 16% of all 120000 adoption cases in US.

The best thing the survey found is that the number of single women putting their children up for adoption has significantly decreased from 9% in 1973 to 1% in 2002.