Public And Private Adoptions

Public adoptions are those that are conducted by state child welfare agencies and comprise about 40 percent of all U.S. adoptions. Private adoptions are conducted either by private agencies (30 percent) or independently by individuals (30 percent). National Council for Adoption, 1986

Many of the children available for adoption in the state child welfare system are older children and/or children with special needs. However, the state child welfare system also has healthy minority and biracial infants available for adoption. Relatives, mainly stepparents, initiate approximately half of all domestic adoptions.

The other half of all domestic adoptions are unrelated adoptions of healthy infants under the age of 2. Most healthy, Caucasian infants are adopted through private agencies.