About the children on AdoptUSKids

Registered families can search for children based on a range of criteria including gender, age, conditions, and behaviors

There are more than 4,500 children registered on AdoptUSKids. Every one of them is in need of a safe, permanent home; however, their characteristics do not represent those of all of the more than 117,000 children and youth in foster care who are waiting to be adopted.

Children from the majority of states and territories are featured on our website. Like all children in foster care, the children registered on AdoptUSKids have been placed into foster care because they have been abused or neglected.

  • 74 percent of children on the AdoptUSKids website are 13 or older­; 21 percent are 9–12; 6 percent are 8 years old or younger.
  • 16 percent are photolisted with at least one sibling.
  • 63 percent are boys and 37 percent are girls.
  • 44 percent are white; 31 percent are Black; 16 percent are Hispanic or Latino; 2 percent are American Indian/Alaskan Native.

Using our photolisting to search for children

Children are registered on AdoptUSKids by the agency or state that is responsible for planning for their permanency. Some agencies register all of the children on their caseload. Others selectively register children on our site, depending upon each child’s needs and the availability of local options.

When registering a child on AdoptUSKids, a caseworker provides information about the child’s age, background, interests, abilities, and conditions. Most of this information can only be viewed by families who have registered on our site. These families all have current, approved home studies and are actively seeking adoptive placements.

Read more about the AdoptUSKids photolisting.

Frequently asked questions

AdoptUSKids foster care and adoption specialists respond to hundreds of questions about foster care and adoption, and an active community of families is always exchanging information on our Facebook page. Here we answer some of the questions that are frequently asked about the children featured on AdoptUSKids.

Are all children listed on adoptuskids.org available to be adopted?

The children on our website are either legally free for adoption or adoption is their permanency plan. A few states will only terminate a parent’s rights after an adoptive placement has been identified.

Are children from all 50 states featured on adoptuskids.org?

Nearly all states work with AdoptUSKids to find homes for children in foster care.

Some states list all children, some states only list those they’re not able to find a placement for in their home state, and still others list any children meeting a predetermined set of criteria—for example, older youth, who we know from experience are harder to place because so many families want to adopt younger children.

Your state may have its own photolisting where all children are listed. To find out if your state has its own listing, please see our list of state photolists

What is involved in adopting children from another state?

Adoptions across state lines are governed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). This agreement, between all 50 states, Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands, ensures that a child placed across state lines will be placed in a safe, suitable environment and with people who are qualified to care for the child.

Interstate adoptions require additional paperwork and increased communication between court and child welfare systems across state lines. An electronic data exchange system launched in 2013, referred to as NEICE, is shortening the time it takes to place children across state lines. Read more about NEICE and about ICPC at the website of the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

While there are additional challenges to work through, families can and do adopt children across state lines every day. You can read some of their stories on our blog.

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