Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adoption Preference: Boys Or Girls?

Our family is currently in the international adoption process and the more we research our information, the more we see how difficult it can be to adopt a girl, no matter which country one adopts from.  Since we have our biological son, we wanted to adopt a girl.  We are not alone, since Americans want to adopt girls 64% to boys at 36%.  While boys are often more desired biologically, this is not the case in adoption.  Statistics show that 70 – 90% of parents looking to adopt register a preference for a girl with their adoption agencies. 

According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, girls make up 64% of all children adopted by Americans outside the United States.  That’s a mere 56 boys for every 100 girls.  To read more, one can go to John Gravois’ article for Slate magazine on-line at:

The Bureau of Counselor Affairs and the U.S. Department of State show that between 1999 and 2011 there were over 233,934 adoptions and of those well over half were girls. 
Their website is:

But why is this?

There are many theories, but here are a few:
1). Most who initiate and pursue adoption is the wife.  Because of this, they are looking for girls they can bond with.
2). Many people fear boys will be too much to handle.  Some even said that boys would be “too energetic.”  They believe girls will be easier to raise than boys.
3). Most people’s first awareness of adoption is from people who’ve adopted girls from China

Statistics show that the number of girls adopted decrease as the girls get older:
Under 1 year old: 47%
1 – 4 years old: 41%
5 – 9 years old: 11%
Over 9 years old: 1%
(These statistics came from Child Welfare Information Gateway).

The more I research, the more I discover that even these statistics are changing as couples from around the world are now so desperate to adopt a girl that female infants are not the only most sought after, especially as many countries are no longer allowing adoption of infants.  My wife and I thought that since we weren’t looking for an infant but a girl between the ages of 6 and 11 that it would be easier, but we’ve heard that this is not the case and we only have a 25 – 30% chance of adopting a girl. 

For those of you who have adopted a girl internationally, please share with us and let us know about your adoption experience. 

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