21 Gripping Transracial Adoption Statistics

If a child from another race and family legally joins another family, then this is considered a transracial adoption. Transracial adoption is often seen as an American family adopted a child from overseas, but these adoptions occur every day in many countries around the world.

The race and ethnic distribution of children who are adopted is different from that of children who are considered part of the general population.

Transracial Adoption

Although non-Hispanic white children make up the majority of kids who are adopted in all categories except international adoptions, this is understandable because they also make up a majority of the total population. It is when you dive deeper into the statistics that you begin to see some discrepancies begin to appear on transracial adoptions.

  • 59% of international adoptions are of children who have a non-Hispanic Asian decent.
  • In the area of foster care, 35% of the adoptions are of non-Hispanic black children, just two percentage points behind Caucasian children.
  • The majority of children who are adopted are non-white, but 73% of these children are adopted by parents who are white.

Although race is often a divisive point in many areas of national policy, careers, and politics, it doesn’t seem to be that way when it comes to adoptions. With so many parents adopting children that come outside of their race and culture, there seems to be a bridge over the racial divides that threaten to tear certain communities apart. If transracial adoptions could become the center of the race conversation so that society at large could see all of the good that happens within these families, then maybe a greater difference could be made.

Who Is Most Likely To Choose a Transracial Adoption?

  • 84% of international adoption placements are likely to be transracial in nature.
  • 28% of the children that are adopted from foster care in the United States are transracial adoption placements.
  • 21% of the privately initiated adoptions within the United States are estimated to be a transracial adoption placement.
  • From a global perspective, 4 out of every 10 adoptions is to parents who have adopted transracially.
  • More girls are adopted every year [51%] than boys, but this is because of the huge gap that comes in international adoptions – two thirds of international adoptions are of girls.
  • Only 19% of Asian children that are adopted are male, furthering skewing the results as girls are adopted out of China.
  • Russia is the second-most common country where adoptions take place, accounting for 13% of international adoptions.

One of the most common things you’ll hear in the field of adoptions is that there are plenty of kids at home that need to be adopted. Why go into a different country to adopt a child when one down the street needs a family? Amongst children who are internationally adopted, however, more than twice as many were born in this country than any other individual country. One-third of all international adoptions come from China and here’s a stark fact: with a long-term one child per family policy, there are children who need adoptions because if they don’t get them, their life would be potentially at risk.

How Could These Statistics Be Even Higher?

  • Many adoption agencies in the United States may not place Caucasian children with single parents or applicants who are older than 40.
  • Many adoption experts recommend that children be placed in families that have at least one parent who shares that child’s race or culture so that an authentic identity can be established.
  • Despite these obstacles, transracial adoptions continue to increase every year in the United States, especially in international adoptions.
  • The two most common demographics that are the least likely to accept a transracial adoption are African American women [84%] and Caucasian men [72%].
  • 51% of Caucasian women are willing to adopt a same-race child, but up to 87% of them are willing to adopt a non-white child.
  • 47% of people in a recent survey believe that kids who are adopted internationally are more likely to have medical and/or behavioral problems than children who are adopted from the same country.
  • Some people believe that the modern international adoption is just a new form of colonialism that works on the family level instead of the national level.

Although it is true that some international adoptions can be problematic because of undiagnosed medical or mental health issues, the result is often better with an adoption because there is better care access with the new family. Instead of labeling this practice in a negative way or condemning families who prefer a transracial adoption, international standards for adoption should be created so that the process can become a lot smoother for all parties involved. This might help to solve some future problems, get kids the help that they may need, and potentially even reduce the costs involved in adopting.

What Are The Outcomes of Transracial Adoptions?

  • Between 70-80% of all transracial adoptees have very few, if any, serious emotional or behavioral issues that must be routinely addressed – the same rate as same-race adoptees.
  • Transracial adoptees compare to their same-race counterparts in the areas of self-esteem and social adjustment as well.
  • In the few studies that have been conducted on the matter, transracial adoptees have very few social maladjustment problems or other serious psychiatric issues which needed to be addressed.
  • All adoptees have up to a 3 times greater risk of suffering from at least one serious psychological issue that needs some form of professional treatment.

The bottom line is that kids need good homes. What is more important than even race is the fact that love is present within the home so that a child has the opportunity to flourish. Although some social stigmas are still in place, especially in some specific demographics, the facts about transracial adoptions are clear: they can and are likely to be successful.

Adopt Rates and Trends Around the World

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