New Data Show 38 Percent Increase in Interest in Adoption Among Women in the United States

Despite Interest and Innovative Recruitment Programs in States,

the Portion of Interested Women Actually Taking

Steps to Adopt Decreased



Nov 16, 2005, 00:00 ET from National Adoption Day Coalition

    NEW YORK, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a report released today,
 interest in adoption among women ages 18-44 rose 38 percent in the United
 States between 1995 and 2002 (from 13 million to 18 million) according to the
 most recent National Survey of Family Growth conducted by the Centers for
 Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis, conducted by the Urban Institute
 and commissioned by the National Adoption Day Coalition, was released today at
 the national launch event for National Adoption Day.
     Of the women interested in adoption, approximately 760,000 reported they
 were currently seeking to adopt -- up from approximately 500,000 women in
 1995. Data also revealed an interest in adopting minority, special needs, and
 older children. Ninety-seven (97) percent of women would be willing to adopt a
 minority child while nearly a third (31 percent) would be willing to adopt an
 older child. Ninety (90) percent of women currently seeking to adopt said they
 would be willing to adopt a child with a mild disability.
     While interest is on the rise, the portion of women interested in adoption
 who then actually took steps to adopt declined. Approximately 10 percent (1.9
 million) of interested women took steps to adopt -- down from 16 percent (2.1
 million) in 1995.
     "The rise in interest in adoption is wonderful news for the 119,000
 children currently available for adoption in our foster care system," said
 Maxine Baker, President and CEO of the Freddie Mac Foundation. "Now we must
 work to insure that the adoption process is accessible and easy to navigate so
 that we can connect these women and their families to waiting children."
     The new analysis was released at the Kings County Courthouse in Brooklyn,
 New York to kick off National Adoption Day. The event launched a week long
 series of adoption events, which will culminate in hundreds of courts opening
 their doors on National Adoption Day -- Saturday, November 19th -- to finalize
 thousands of adoptions. More than 125 adoptions were finalized today in
 Brooklyn. The National Adoption Day Coalition expects that on Saturday, more
 than 3,100 adoptions will be finalized at 227 celebrations in 45 states and
 the District of Columbia across the country.
     Growing interest in adoption may be a reflection of the concerted efforts
 made by the federal government and states to raise awareness of the children
 in foster care currently awaiting adoption. Recruitment strategies across
 states include outreach through diverse media as well as faith communities,
 utilizing language appropriate materials, and leveraging the power of personal
 relationships.
     "Today we celebrate those women and families who did take the next step
 and have chosen to adopt a child from foster care and create a forever
 family," said Rita Soronen, Executive Director of the Dave Thomas Foundation
 for Adoption. "Now, we need to focus on ways to encourage others to take that
 next step. We need to translate interest into action."
     Each year, on a special Saturday just before every Thanksgiving, the
 National Adoption Day Coalition sponsors National Adoption Day to raise
 awareness of the need to find permanent, loving homes for the thousands of
 children in foster care currently available for adoption and to insure that
 post-adoption services are available to families. At the heart of the Day are
 thousands of children, parents, judges, adoption professionals, volunteer
 lawyers and child advocates in hundreds of communities across the country who
 come together to finalize the adoptions of children from foster care and
 celebrate all families who adopt.
     According to the most recent data available, there are approximately
 523,000 children in foster care in the United States, and 119,000 of them are
 available for adoption. Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has
 nearly doubled, and the average time a child languishes in foster care has
 lengthened to nearly three years. Each year, approximately 20,000 children in
 foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a
 permanent family.
     National Adoption Day events are sponsored by a coalition dedicated to
 improving the lives of children, including The Alliance for Children's Rights,
 Casey Family Services, Children's Action Network, The Congressional Coalition
 on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac
 Foundation and Target.
     To access the full report, please visit the National Adoption Day Web site
 (http://www.nationaladoptionday.org) or the Urban Institute Web site
 (http://www.urban.org).
 
     National Adoption Day Sponsors:
 
     The Alliance for Children's Rights -- The Alliance for Children's Rights
 is Los Angeles' only free legal services organization devoted solely to
 helping children living in poverty and foster care. The Alliance's mission is
 to ensure children get the support and services they need to become healthy,
 productive adults.
 
     Casey Family Services -- Casey Family Services is the direct service arm
 of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation's largest private foundation
 serving U.S. children, families and communities, started by United Parcel
 Service founder Jim Casey. Casey Family Services has worked with foster and
 adoptive families for nearly 30 years and is dedicated to helping build better
 futures for disadvantaged children here in the United States.
 
     Children's Action Network -- Formed in 1990 by leaders in the
 entertainment industry, the Children's Action Network (CAN) is dedicated to
 improving the lives of America's children. Through extensive public education
 campaigns, community-based programs and policy initiatives, CAN uses the power
 of the entertainment community to increase awareness about children's issues
 and to make them a top priority in everyday life.
 
     Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute -- CCAI is a not-for-profit
 organization dedicated to raising awareness of the tens of thousands of foster
 care children in this country and the millions of orphans around the world.
 CCAI strives to accomplish its mission by serving as an informational and
 educational resource to policymakers and works in collaboration with the
 Congressional Coalition on Adoption, which is a bicameral, bipartisan caucus,
 with more the 190 Members of Congress.
 
     Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption(R) -- Dave Thomas, founder of
 Wendy's(R) Old Fashioned Hamburgers Restaurants, established the Dave Thomas
 Foundation for Adoption in 1992 to help the thousands of children throughout
 the United States and Canada who are waiting to be adopted from foster care.
 In collaboration with national and local adoption, funding and policy
 partners, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption works to assure that
 adoption through the foster care system is streamlined, affordable and
 accessible to any family wanting to adopt.
 
     Freddie Mac Foundation -- Created by Freddie Mac in 1991, the Freddie Mac
 Foundation is dedicated to creating hope and opportunity for children and
 their families. As one of the largest corporate funders in the Washington,
 D.C. metropolitan region, Freddie Mac and the Freddie Mac Foundation have
 invested nearly $250 million in nonprofit organizations serving children and
 families.
 
     Target -- When Target first opened its doors in 1962, it made a strong
 commitment to support and empower the communities its stores serve. Target
 follows up that commitment by giving back over $2 million each week to
 neighborhoods, programs and schools across the country.
 
 

SOURCE National Adoption Day Coalition
    NEW YORK, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a report released today,
 interest in adoption among women ages 18-44 rose 38 percent in the United
 States between 1995 and 2002 (from 13 million to 18 million) according to the
 most recent National Survey of Family Growth conducted by the Centers for
 Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis, conducted by the Urban Institute
 and commissioned by the National Adoption Day Coalition, was released today at
 the national launch event for National Adoption Day.
     Of the women interested in adoption, approximately 760,000 reported they
 were currently seeking to adopt -- up from approximately 500,000 women in
 1995. Data also revealed an interest in adopting minority, special needs, and
 older children. Ninety-seven (97) percent of women would be willing to adopt a
 minority child while nearly a third (31 percent) would be willing to adopt an
 older child. Ninety (90) percent of women currently seeking to adopt said they
 would be willing to adopt a child with a mild disability.
     While interest is on the rise, the portion of women interested in adoption
 who then actually took steps to adopt declined. Approximately 10 percent (1.9
 million) of interested women took steps to adopt -- down from 16 percent (2.1
 million) in 1995.
     "The rise in interest in adoption is wonderful news for the 119,000
 children currently available for adoption in our foster care system," said
 Maxine Baker, President and CEO of the Freddie Mac Foundation. "Now we must
 work to insure that the adoption process is accessible and easy to navigate so
 that we can connect these women and their families to waiting children."
     The new analysis was released at the Kings County Courthouse in Brooklyn,
 New York to kick off National Adoption Day. The event launched a week long
 series of adoption events, which will culminate in hundreds of courts opening
 their doors on National Adoption Day -- Saturday, November 19th -- to finalize
 thousands of adoptions. More than 125 adoptions were finalized today in
 Brooklyn. The National Adoption Day Coalition expects that on Saturday, more
 than 3,100 adoptions will be finalized at 227 celebrations in 45 states and
 the District of Columbia across the country.
     Growing interest in adoption may be a reflection of the concerted efforts
 made by the federal government and states to raise awareness of the children
 in foster care currently awaiting adoption. Recruitment strategies across
 states include outreach through diverse media as well as faith communities,
 utilizing language appropriate materials, and leveraging the power of personal
 relationships.
     "Today we celebrate those women and families who did take the next step
 and have chosen to adopt a child from foster care and create a forever
 family," said Rita Soronen, Executive Director of the Dave Thomas Foundation
 for Adoption. "Now, we need to focus on ways to encourage others to take that
 next step. We need to translate interest into action."
     Each year, on a special Saturday just before every Thanksgiving, the
 National Adoption Day Coalition sponsors National Adoption Day to raise
 awareness of the need to find permanent, loving homes for the thousands of
 children in foster care currently available for adoption and to insure that
 post-adoption services are available to families. At the heart of the Day are
 thousands of children, parents, judges, adoption professionals, volunteer
 lawyers and child advocates in hundreds of communities across the country who
 come together to finalize the adoptions of children from foster care and
 celebrate all families who adopt.
     According to the most recent data available, there are approximately
 523,000 children in foster care in the United States, and 119,000 of them are
 available for adoption. Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has
 nearly doubled, and the average time a child languishes in foster care has
 lengthened to nearly three years. Each year, approximately 20,000 children in
 foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a
 permanent family.
     National Adoption Day events are sponsored by a coalition dedicated to
 improving the lives of children, including The Alliance for Children's Rights,
 Casey Family Services, Children's Action Network, The Congressional Coalition
 on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac
 Foundation and Target.
     To access the full report, please visit the National Adoption Day Web site
 (http://www.nationaladoptionday.org) or the Urban Institute Web site
 (http://www.urban.org).
 
     National Adoption Day Sponsors:
 
     The Alliance for Children's Rights -- The Alliance for Children's Rights
 is Los Angeles' only free legal services organization devoted solely to
 helping children living in poverty and foster care. The Alliance's mission is
 to ensure children get the support and services they need to become healthy,
 productive adults.
 
     Casey Family Services -- Casey Family Services is the direct service arm
 of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation's largest private foundation
 serving U.S. children, families and communities, started by United Parcel
 Service founder Jim Casey. Casey Family Services has worked with foster and
 adoptive families for nearly 30 years and is dedicated to helping build better
 futures for disadvantaged children here in the United States.
 
     Children's Action Network -- Formed in 1990 by leaders in the
 entertainment industry, the Children's Action Network (CAN) is dedicated to
 improving the lives of America's children. Through extensive public education
 campaigns, community-based programs and policy initiatives, CAN uses the power
 of the entertainment community to increase awareness about children's issues
 and to make them a top priority in everyday life.
 
     Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute -- CCAI is a not-for-profit
 organization dedicated to raising awareness of the tens of thousands of foster
 care children in this country and the millions of orphans around the world.
 CCAI strives to accomplish its mission by serving as an informational and
 educational resource to policymakers and works in collaboration with the
 Congressional Coalition on Adoption, which is a bicameral, bipartisan caucus,
 with more the 190 Members of Congress.
 
     Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption(R) -- Dave Thomas, founder of
 Wendy's(R) Old Fashioned Hamburgers Restaurants, established the Dave Thomas
 Foundation for Adoption in 1992 to help the thousands of children throughout
 the United States and Canada who are waiting to be adopted from foster care.
 In collaboration with national and local adoption, funding and policy
 partners, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption works to assure that
 adoption through the foster care system is streamlined, affordable and
 accessible to any family wanting to adopt.
 
     Freddie Mac Foundation -- Created by Freddie Mac in 1991, the Freddie Mac
 Foundation is dedicated to creating hope and opportunity for children and
 their families. As one of the largest corporate funders in the Washington,
 D.C. metropolitan region, Freddie Mac and the Freddie Mac Foundation have
 invested nearly $250 million in nonprofit organizations serving children and
 families.
 
     Target -- When Target first opened its doors in 1962, it made a strong
 commitment to support and empower the communities its stores serve. Target
 follows up that commitment by giving back over $2 million each week to
 neighborhoods, programs and schools across the country.
 
 SOURCE  National Adoption Day Coalition