OVC Research & Best Practice
Christian orphan advocates must accurately understand and communicate orphan-related statistics. Failure to do so undermines the strength of our advocacy and misleads action. Grasping the true nature of the need provides a strong foundation for an effective, well-focused response.
Global Orphan Statistics
Total estimated number of orphans worldwide: 140 Million
Estimated # of “double orphans”: 15.1 million
Estimated # of children on streets or in residential care: 2-8 Million
Number of caring adults it takes to make a life-long difference for an orphan: 1
Domestic Adoption Statistics
Number of U.S. Children awaiting adoption: 111,820
Number of U.S. Children adopted 2015 (with public child welfare agency involvement): 53,549
Average age of U.S. children awaiting adoption: 7 years, 7 months
Inter-Country Adoption Statistics
Over the past decade, 103,385 children from around the world were welcomed into families in the U.S. through inter-country adoption.
5370 inter-country adoptions took place in 2016.
Inter-country Adoption has decreased 77% from its high in 2004 due primarily to restrictions by sending countries.
Top 5 sending countries in 2014 were China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, South Korea, and Bulgaria.
Foster Care Statistics
Children in foster care in the U.S.: 427,910
Children in foster care waiting to be adopted: 111,820
Children entering foster care in 2015: 269,509
Children exiting foster care in 2015: 243,060
Average time in care within the foster system: 20.4 Months
Children “aging out” of the foster system in 2015 in FY: 20,789
Average age of a child waiting to be adopted: 7.6 years old
Number of children in care whose parental rights were terminated in FY 2015: 62,378
Approximate number of children adopted from foster care in FY 2015: 53,549
Number of caring adults it takes to make a life-long difference for a child in the foster system: 1