This group includes children who were adopted from within the United States but who were not part of the foster care system at any time prior to the adoption. Some of these children may have deceased birth parents, or their birth parents voluntarily relinquished their rights and chose to make an adoption plan for them. These adoptions may be facilitated by a private adoption agency, or they may be arranged independently without an agency’s involvement. Though this type of adoption is often referred to as private domestic adoption, for the purposes of the survey, this group largely excludes adoptions from foster care that are facilitated by private agencies.16 Reliable data on trends in private domestic adoption are not available. According to the NSAP, as of 2007: (See Appendix Table 1 page 56.)
- About 677,000, or 38 percent of adopted children, were adopted privately from sources other than foster care. Of these,
- 276,000, or 41 percent, were adopted by relatives.
- 301,000, or 44 percent, were adopted by someone who knew them prior to the adoption (including relatives).
- 218,000, or 32 percent, have special health care needs.
The majority of children adopted privately in the United States were placed with their adoptive family as newborns or when they were younger than one month old (62 percent).