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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?

Why We Study Adoption

While no one study can comprehensively account for the complexity of experiences among millions of adopted individuals and families, this report provides significantly useful data for policymakers, members of the media, and others interested in adoption. However, our primary purpose is to equip adoption professionals, 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 Two

NCFA's research team, in partnership with Brave Love, has conducted focus groups with birth mothers and a nationwide survey of birth parents, as we explore their experiences with adoption. We want to understand this population better and gain meaningful insights that can inform the development and implementation of programs and services to the birth parent community. We are grateful to have birth mothers on the team who made significant contributions to the development of the survey. The team will be seeking to answer questions like...

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

How can birth fathers be better supported?

What factors lead to better long-term outcomes for birth mothers?


The survey of adoptive parents 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.

Part Two of Profiles in Adoption was funded by the Opt Institute.

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.

Citation - Part Two

Hanlon, R., Koh, E., Alexander, R., Bruder, L., Boschen, A., & Williams, P. L. (2023). Profiles in adoption: Birth parent experiences. Alexandria, VA: National Council For Adoption

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.

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

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

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