Global Orphan Stats That May Shock You


As you view the following statistics, keep in mind that every number represents a child — a child who is waiting for a family to love and care for them. Although it can be difficult to comprehend the magnitude of need in the world through facts and figures, it is our mission to give every child an opportunity to become more than just another statistic. Let these facts help you as you look for ways to serve the world’s waiting children.

  • The births of nearly 230 million children under age 5 worldwide (about one in three) have never been recorded, depriving them of their right to a name and nationality.

  • As of 2013, an estimated 17.7 million children worldwide had lost one or both parents to AIDS. Most of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • In 2013, California and Texas were the two U.S. states with the most children in public foster care waiting for adoption.

  • Of the estimated 238,280 children who exited foster care during 2013, the median amount of time spent in care was 21.8 months.

  • Last year, nearly 9,000 children were adopted internationally.

  • The average waiting child is 7.5 years old.

  • Every year more than 23,000 children age out of foster care, leaving them without families of their own.

  • 81.5 million Americans have considered adoption. If just 1 in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child would have a permanent family.

  • Inter-country adoption has decreased 59 percent from its high in 2004, due primarily to restrictions by sending countries.


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