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Men Adopt Twice as Often as Women

Adoption Report From CDC: 2.3% of U.S. Men, 1.1% of Women Adopt Children

Ideal Adoption, Real Adoption continued...

But most of these adoption-seeking women weren't fussy. Nearly 90% said they'd accept a child with a mild disability, 79% would accept a child 2 to 5 years old, and 75% would accept a set of siblings.

Race is not a major issue for most of these women. Among white adoption seekers, 84% would accept a black child and 95% would accept a child of a race neither black nor white. Among black adoption seekers, 75% would accept a white child and 93% would accept a child of a race neither black nor white.

Even so, two-thirds of women would not accept a child aged 13 years or older or a child with a severe disability.

And adoption preferences do play a role. There are virtually no healthy, newborn children waiting to be adopted. But in 2002, 124,000 American children in foster care waited to be adopted. The mean age of these children is 8.5 years, and they've been living in foster care for three years on average.

"Because the characteristics of children that women and couples seek to adopt ... may not correspond to the characteristics of children in the foster care system, women and couples may seek children from outside the foster care system to adopt," Jones notes in her report.

Yet Americans do adopt more than 50,000 foster-care children each year.

Many other would-be parents look for infants from other nations. The number of international adoptions nearly tripled from 7,093 in 1990 to 19,237 in 2002.

Overall, there are between 118,000 and 127,000 adoptions each year in the U.S. As of 2000, 65.6 million children under age 18 -- about 2.5% of U.S. kids -- are adopted.

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