American men are more than twice as likely to adopt a child compared with women, according to statistics released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among men ages 18 to 44, 2.3% had adopted compared with 1.1% of women in that age range.
The reason, however, may have a lot to do with the nature of family living arrangements. When couples divorce, children are more likely to live with their biological mothers. When these single parents remarry, more men have opportunities to adopt these stepchildren than new wives do. Men may adopt to formalize and solidify their relationship with their stepchildren.
Previous government surveys have examined the patterns of adoption among married women. But this survey, which is based on data from 2002, is the first to look at men's experiences of adoption as well as those of unmarried women. The survey found that among never-married adults, ages 18 to 44, 100,000 women adopted in 2002 compared with 73,000 men.
- Latino and black women were more likely to be currently seeking to adopt a child than white women.
- Women who are infertile make up about three-quarters of those women who were seeking to adopt a child.
- Eighty-nine percent of women seeking to adopt would prefer or accept a child with a disability.
- The practice of relinquishing an infant for adoption in the United States remains low -- only 1% of babies. But international adoptions have doubled between 1990 and 2002.
You can view the report, "Adoption Experiences of Women and Men and Demand for Children to Adopt by Women 18-44 Years of Age in the United States, 2002," at the CDC website.
-- Shari Roan
Photo: Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times