Men adopt twice as often as women. Gay couples may contribute to substantial difference

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] – offers a new report which indicates men are twice as likely as women to adopt a child.

Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth shows men aged 18-44 years are more than twice as likely as women of the same age group to have adopted a child. As of 2002, more than 1.2 million men and 613,000 women had adopted children.

Kim M. Hober, LMSW, an obstetric social worker at New York’s University of Rochester Medical Center provides one explanation:

We’ve seen an increase in same-sex couples adopting, and this is a trend all over the country,” Hober tells WebMD. “If you think about same-sex couples, gay men who want children really have to adopt, but gay women can have their own children. I don’t see as many gay female couples adopting as gay male couples.”

Other discoveries from the latest survey:

  • Americans adopt more than 50,000 foster-care children each year
  • Approximately 100,000 never-married women and 73,000 never-married men had adopted a child
  • The number of international adoptions nearly tripled from 7,093 in 1990 to 19,237 in 2002
  • There are between 118,000 and 127,000 adoptions each year in the U.S. As of 2000, 65.6 million children under age 18 – about 2.5% of U.S. kids – are adopted
  • Image: proudtobedad

One thought on “Men adopt twice as often as women. Gay couples may contribute to substantial difference

  • August 9, 2008 at 6:04 am

    the actual report, which can be found online (, mentions nothing about gays, lesbians or same-sex couples. The only remote reference is that never-married men are adopting. Yet, WebMD does state some specifics regarding lesbians and gays ( Hmmm.

    When reading the report’s discussion of results, the authors state, “More men than women have adopted children in their lifetimes. Among adopters, 17% of women and 6% of men were never married.” The first statement was actually attributed mostly to men who adopted their spouses children. The second statement specifically refers to “never”-married men and “never”-married women. While I would like to think this number characterizes those who are gay, we cannot assume this to be true. There is nothing in the report to substantiate this assumption.


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