This National Council For Adoption (NCFA) research report presents data on the number of adoptions in the United States in 2019 and 2020. Data on the
number of private domestic adoptions, intercountry adoptions, and adoptions from foster care are compiled in aggregate as well as at the state level, thus providing an estimate of the total number of adoptions in the United States.
This guide explains three different ways to help an adopted child born abroad become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or a U.S. citizen.
Each process is distinct and has different eligibility requirements.
Searching for Birth Relatives
FACTSHEET FOR FAMILIES
Methods for searching for birth relatives or an adopted child have changed dramatically in recent years. Previously, many adoptions were closed, meaning no contact occurred between the birth and adoptive families, and no identifying information was made available to the adoptive family or the person who was adopted. A social shift in the 1980s and 1990s toward open adoptions led to various levels of connection between the adoption triad (adoptee, birth parents, and adoptive parents), as well as extended family members and other important connections—sometimes called the adoption constellation. Today, adoption exists along a continuum from shared information to regular contact between the child and the birth parents or other family members.
This Resource Guide was developed by the Office
on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s
Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the
FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child
Abuse Prevention. OCAN released its first Resource
Guide more than 15 years ago with the goal of raising
awareness about emerging child abuse prevention
concepts. It was created primarily to support communitybased
service providers who work to prevent child
maltreatment and promote family well-being. However,
over the years many others—including policymakers,
health-care providers, program administrators, teachers,
child care providers, parent leaders, mentors, and clergy—have found the resources useful.
Legal and Financial Differences Between Adoption and Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG)
The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) Division of Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P) strives to support all youth in care to achieve legal permanency
through reunification, adoption, or kinship legal guardianship (KLG). This document outlines legal and financial information regarding adoption and KLG. Additional information is
provided regarding policy, practice, and supports related to non-permanency CP&P case goals to provide a full picture of permanency options available
Children ages 3 to 5 are limited in how much
they can understand about adoption. Like all
young children, adopted children are naturally
curious and may ask many questions. They are
also growing and changing rapidly. As their
abilities develop, so will their understanding
of their place in their families and
The teenage years bridge the transition
from childhood to young adulthood. It is a
time of enormous change and development,
when youth forge an identity and embrace
new interests. Adoption adds complexity
to the normal development of teenagers,
regardless of whether they were adopted
as infants or when they were older. This
factsheet is designed to help adoptive parents
understand the needs and experiences of
their teen and use practical strategies to
foster healthy development. These strategies
include approaches that acknowledge
potential trauma and loss, support effective
communication, promote independence,
and address possible behavioral and mental
School-age children—those between the ages of
6 and 12—learn critical skills and gain interests
that carry into adolescence and adulthood.
Adoption can add layers of complexity to a child’s
normal developmental tasks. You can support
your child by learning as much as possible about
the impact of adoption on your child’s emotional
growth and overall development.