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New Report Provides Demographic Profile of Adoptive Parents

For Immediate Release: August 7, 2008


Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Communication, Phone: 301-458-4800



Men aged 18-44 years are more than twice as likely as women of the same age group to have adopted a child, according to a new report released today by CDC′s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). As of 2002, more than 1.2 million men and 613,000 women had adopted children.

The data come from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. The report offers a demographic profile of those who adopt – the percentage of men and women who have ever adopted a child and the number of children they adopted. Though the report does not offer conclusive data as to why more men adopt than women, it may be due in part to men getting married and adopting their spouse′s child or children from a previous relationship.

Some of the findings in the report include:

  • Among ever-married persons, men were more than 2.5 times as likely as women to have adopted – 3.8 percent compared with 1.4 percent. Overall, 2.3 percent of all men had ever adopted a child.
  • Over one in four women aged 40-44 who had ever used infertility services had adopted a child.
  • Though never-married adults aged 18-44 years were significantly less likely to have adopted a child compared with those who were currently married, approximately 100,000 never-married women and 73,000 never-married men had adopted a child.
  • Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women were more likely to be currently seeking to adopt a child, compared with non-Hispanic white women.

“Adoption Experiences of Women and Men, and Demand for Children to Adopt by Women Ages 18-44 in the United States: Data from Cycle 6 (2002) of the National Survey of Family Growth” is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs.

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