Hispanic vs. Black Adoptions

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In many states, Hispanic youth account for a growing slice of adoptions, while black youth account for less. Why?

Since 1998, the federal government has rewarded states with more than $200 million in incentives for increasing adoptions of children in foster care. At the same time, more states passed legislation making it easier for white families to adopt black children.

What has been the impact on the demographics of adoption?

A recent report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute questioned the impact of the legislative efforts, saying the changes led to only a slight increase in transracial adoptions and left some adopted black youth struggling with their identities. 

That report prompted Youth Today to examine federal data to chart the percentages of white, Hispanic and black children who were adopted out of foster care from 2000 through 2006. (Previous data on the subject were spotty at best.)

The results might surprise you.

Since 2000, the percentage of adoptees who were black has dropped significantly in more than half the states. In 31 states, the percentage of adopted children who were black dropped 25 percent.

Meanwhile, many states saw equally significant increases in the percentage of Hispanic children adopted.

In 25 states, the percentage of adoptees who were Hispanic rose more than 20 percent (in most states, much more) while the percentage of adoptees who were black dropped more than 10 percent (in most states, far more).

 Data for each race, and a chart comparing the changes in adoptions for each race between 2000 and 2006, are available below.

We want to know what you think: Why are the demographics of foster care adoptions changing in so many states?

View Tables

* Blacks as a percentage of children adopted from foster care

* Hispanics as a percentage of children adopted from foster care

* Whites as a percentage of children adopted from foster care

* A side-by-side comparison

  • CG

    I would be interested in knowing if the demographics of those doing the adopting has also changed. It is possible that if Caucasians are the primary “adopters” they may believe that it is less of an issue to adopt a Hispanic child (who may “blend in” more) as compared to a child who is more obviously of a different ethnicity. I would also be interested in knowing if African American parents are increasing their adoptions of non-African American children.