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NCFA Releases Results of Largest Study Ever Conducted on Adoptive Parents

ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 27, 2022) – A new report released by National Council For Adoption (NCFA) highlights the dramatic changes that have taken place in adoption in recent decades and answers key questions about the profile of adoptive parents as well as the needs and experiences of adoptive families.

The report, Profiles in Adoption Part One, points to important trends, namely: the cost of a domestic adoption process has doubled in the last decade, most international adoptions today are of children with special needs, the vast majority of adoptive and birth families stay in contact after completing a private domestic adoption, and many adoptees are likely to need post-adoption services in educational supports and therapeutic services.

“This research report provides previously unknown information about who is being adopted and who is adopting,” says NCFA President and CEO, Ryan Hanlon. “We anticipate the largest contribution being the insights into post adoption experiences, providing adoption professionals and prospective adoptive parents a clearer picture of what services and supports are needed post adoption.”

The three main types of adoption – private domestic adoption, adoption from foster care, intercountry adoption – were near equally represented among the respondents. The result is the largest study of adoptive families ever conducted with responses from 4,212 adoptive parents who are parents to 6,608 adoptees, covering all 50 states and Washington, D.C. In addition to the characteristics and demographics of adoptive parents, the survey garnered insights about their motives to adopt, experiences with the adoption process, and adopting across racial and/or ethnic lines.

“There are clear implications from this data including the need to prepare parents for the types of challenges they are most likely to face, and the need to provide funded and accessible post adoption services for all adoptions.” Hanlon said. “It is also further evidence of how important it is to make the adoption tax credit fully refundable so that qualified middle- and lower-class families can access the full benefit, which strengthens permanency options for the many thousands of kids here and around the world in need of a nurturing, safe family.”

National Council For Adoption views this report as Part One of a three-part series examining profiles in adoption. NCFA intends to hear from birth parents and adoptees in upcoming research reports. Taken together, the three reports in this series will provide a fuller picture of adoption. The report is available at


About National Council For Adoption

Founded in 1980, NCFA is a leading authoritative voice for adoption and is passionately committed to the belief that every child, everywhere, deserves to thrive in a nurturing, permanent family. NCFA’s nonprofit work promotes a culture of adoption through education, research, advocacy, and collaboration that aims to serve children, expectant and birth parents, adoptees, adoptive families, and adoption professionals.