Because the number of people interested in adopting infants from the United States and Canada exceeds the number of infants in need of adoption, experts have called this problem a "baby shortage."
An estimated one million childless couples in the U.S. under age 44 actively seek to create a pregnancy by visiting infertility specialists; however, it is unknown precisely how many infertile couples are actively interested in and pursuing adoption. The most modest estimates are 100,000. It is known, however, that some number will only be satisfied with a biological child and if they cannot have a biological child, will remain childless.
Many single women and girls are opting to parent their children rather than place them for adoption. Another important factor to consider is that the "Baby Boomers" who are infertile are attempting to adopt infants from a population of "Baby Busters" or those women now bearing children who were born from 1966-1977. (These terms are used in such publications as American Demographics as well as in the book 100 Predictions for the Baby Boom: The Next 50 Years by Cheryl Russell.)
Because there is a "Baby Boomlet" just behind the "Baby Busters," it appears likely that by the time the Busters reach the age at which they decide to adopt (generally in the late thirties), the number of infants needing adoptive families and the number of families desiring to adopt will be more in equilibrium than in the early and mid-1990s; however, many other factors could also intervene in that period as well.
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©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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