Skip to content

Find adoption answers, support, training, or professional resources

Profiles in Adoption

Birth Parent Experiences

NCFA's research team, in partnership with BraveLove, conducted focus groups with birth mothers and completed a nationwide survey of birth parents, to explore their experiences with adoption.

The goal of this research was to understand this population better and gain meaningful insights that can inform the development and implementation of programs and services to the expectant and birth parent community. We heard from over 1400 birth parents, and the results outlined in the report answer key questions such as:

Why do birth parents choose to place their child for adoption?

What factors contribute the most to long-term satisfaction with an adoption decision? 

How have the experiences of birth parents changed over time?

What is most helpful to an expectant or birth parent considering adoption?

Share the Report

We've made it easy for you to share this report with your network of friends, family, colleagues, and social connections. Use the graphics below to share on social media platforms and click HERE for the web version of our report release email announcement.

Media Coverage

Why We Did This Study

While no one study can comprehensively account for the complexity of experiences among millions of adopted individuals, birth and adoptive families, this research series provides significantly useful data for policymakers, members of the media, and others interested in adoption. Our primary purpose is to equip adoption professionals, pregnancy counselors, adoptive families, and prospective adoptive parents with information to help them in their role as part of the larger adoption community.

Profiles in Adoption

Part One

In the largest survey ever conducted of adoptive parents, NCFA explored the profile of adoptive parents, their experiences, and what has changed over time. Get answers to these and many other questions in our new report:

What are the demographic characteristics of adoptive parents?

Just how significant is the rise in special needs adoptions?

What motivates people to adopt?

Profiles in Adoption

Adult Adoptees

NCFA's research team, in partnership with Dr. Matt Quade, professor at Baylor University, is conducting a nationwide survey of adult adoptees as we explore their experiences with adoption. We are grateful for the involvement of adoptees in the development of this survey and aim to utilize the results to formulate data-driven recommendations for change in policy, practice, and societal understanding of the adopted individuals and their diverse experiences.

This survey closed on July 31st. 

The survey covered a range of topics, and we expect the report to answer questions about:

Demographic characteristics of today's adult adoptee population

Access to post-adoption supports and services

Open adoption, search and reunion

Variances in adoptee experiences by type of adoption


The survey of adoptive parents for Profiles in Adoption: Adoptive Parent Experiences was generously grant-funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
The secondary data analysis was funded by the Gift of Adoption Fund with generous support from Lucy Wyka.

Profiles in Adoption: Birth Parent Experiences was funded by the Opt Institute.

Profiles in Adoption: Adult Adoptee Experiences was funded by Dr. Wayne W. Sharp and Mrs. Linda Whitbeck Sharp.

Citation - Part One

Hanlon, R. & Quade, M. (2022). Profiles in Adoption: A Survey of Adoptive Parents and Secondary Data Analysis of Federal Adoption Files. Alexandria, VA: National Council For Adoption.