According to a report released last month by Child Trends, adoptions are at a record high, fewer children are waiting for permanent families and their average wait time has shrunk by a year. Based on statistics available in 2009, the research revealed that:
Adoptions from foster care reached a record high of 57,000, up from 37,000 in 1998.
The number of children waiting for adoption fell to a record low of 115,000, down from 135,000 in 2006.
The average wait to be adopted fell to a record low 35 months, down from 48 months in 1998.
The likelihood a waiting child would be adopted in a year rose to 45 percent, up from an average 39 percent over the previous decade.
Child-welfare specialists credit these improvements to the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act, which created cash incentives for states that increased their adoptions of foster children, and set deadlines for action.
Also, since 2008, the Focus on the Family program, "Wait No More," has been used to encourage families to think about adopting foster children. "In recent months, 6,000 people have attended nine adoption events, and 1,500 have decided to pursue the adoption process," said Kelly Rosati, who heads up the adoption initiative at Focus on the Family, and who is an adoptive mother herself.
According to their Web site, Child Trends is a nonprofit, non partisan research center, founded in 1979, that studies children in all stages of development. [WashingtonTimes.com]