National Adoption Day, on November 23, is meant to raise awareness of the more than 125,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States.
About half (49%) of Americans say that they have a favorable view of adoption through the US foster care system. Roughly one in 10 (11%) say that they have unfavorable views of this system, while 20 percent say their views on adoption through foster care are neither favorable nor unfavorable.
YouGov recently asked Americans about their beliefs and personal experiences around adoption.
A quarter (25%) of Americans have a friend or family member who was adopted, and 19 percent say they have a friend or family member who is an adoptive parent. In this survey, 4 percent of Americans say that they are adopted, and 3 percent say they are adoptive parents.
About one-quarter (24%) of Americans say that they have considered — or are currently considering — adoption.
Among US adults who have ever considered (or are currently considering) adopting a child, the most common reasons are: I want to provide for a child in need (56%), I think there is an overpopulation issue (18%), I/we have infertility issues (12%) and I/we have other barriers which would make it difficult to conceive (12%).
Millennials are particularly likely to say that they’re currently considering adoption (9% vs 5% of the total population). And they’re especially likely to cite overpopulation (26%) as a reason why. Additionally, about one in five millennials (21%) who have considered or are considering adoption say it’s because they (or their partner) don’t want to be pregnant.
A majority (60%) of the US population say they have never considered adoption. The most common reasons why? Finances and/or a desire to be totally child-free.
Of those who say they have never considered adoption, the most common reasons are: I don’t think I can afford it (20%), I don’t want any children, adopted or biological (20%), and I want a child who is biologically connected to me (13%).
Millennials (42%) are less likely than Gen X’ers (60%) and Baby Boomers (72%) to say that they have never considered adopting. But of those millennials who say this, 25 percent say it’s because they don’t believe they can afford it. Slightly fewer millennials say it’s because they don’t want any children at all (23%), while a similar number (22%) say it’s because they want a child who is biologically connected to them.
People who are already parents to a child under 18 are especially likely to say they want children who are biologically connected to them (21% vs 13% total population) and that they don’t believe they could afford adoption (29% vs 20%).
See full results for this survey here.
Methodology: Total sample size for the survey on adoption was 2,478 US adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+). Interviews were conducted online between October 31 - November 4, 2019.