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the Orphan Crisis

Total estimated number of orphans worldwide: 140 Million

Estimated # of double orphans; children without a living biological parent: 15.1million

Estimated # of children on streets or in residential care 2-8 Million


Number of caring adults it takes to make a life-long difference for an orphan: 1


Number of U.S. Children awaiting adoption: 111,820

Number of U.S. Children adopted 2015 (with public child welfare agency involvement): 53,549

Average age of U.S. children awaiting adoption: 7 years, 7 months

Children in foster care in the U.S.: 427,910

Children in foster care waiting to be adopted: 111,820

Children entering foster care in 2015: 269,509

Children exiting foster care in 2015: 243,060

Average time in care within the foster system: 20.4 Months

Children aging out of the foster system in 2015 in FY: 20,789

Average age of a child waiting to be adopted: 7.6 years old

Number of children in care whose parental rights were terminated in FY 2015: 62,378

Approximate number of children adopted from foster care in FY 2015: 53,549


Number of caring adults it takes to make a life-long difference for a child in the foster system: 1


Statistics shared from

Types of Adoption

There are many ways to pursue adoption. It is important to look at all of the options and discern the path the Lord has for your family. Below is a brief overview and links to other resources with more detailed descriptions.


Domestic Adoption:


In the United States, families called to pursue adoption domestically can adopt infants and children through private adoptions or through the Foster Care system. There are numerous private agencies in addition to county agencies for families to speak with. Catholic Charities traditionally has aided families with adoption and often works with local and state agencies. Check with your local Catholic Charities to see what resources they can offer. Be aware that many local branches of Catholic Charities have been forced by the Federal Government to phase out their role in adoptions due to federal funding. Below are resources for domestic adoption.


International Adoption:


American families called to pursue International adoption have multiple options. It is important to understand which countries are open and which are closed, the Hague convention, the immigration process, travel requirements, and finalization. Below are resources that can help guide your discernment.

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