Some Statistics

It's difficult to obtain accurate statistics for the adoption of Korean children by U.S. parents, but by cobbling together data from the two main sources, the following picture emerges:

Adoptions of Korean Children by U.S. Parents:
99,061 1953-2001 (From the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare)
5,285 2002-2004 (From INS statistics)
104,346 Total (Note: Some sources place this number closer to 150,000)

Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics:
62,100 Domestic adoptees in Korea 1953-2001
148,394 Overseas adoptees outside Korea 1953-2001
210,494 Total

It's easy to extrapolate a community of millions that are touched by the Korean adoption experience. Although not every extended family has the same makeup, the following model offers a way to quantify how many have been touched by Korean adoption.

Assuming 2 Korean children in a family:
2 adoptive parents
4 adoptive grandparents
4 adoptive maternal aunts, uncles, and cousins
4 adoptive paternal aunts, uncles, and cousins
15 members in the extended family (a conservative estimate)
750,000 extended adoptive family members touched by Korean adoption in the US
1,500,000 extended adoptive family members touched by Korean adoption worldwide

Think of this model in terms of members of Korean birth families touched by the adoption of their Korean child, and the number doubles yet again. Think of this number in terms of friends and community members touched by the experience, and it grows exponentially.

Another spin on the numbers:

In the 2000 census, the total US population was counted at 281,421,906 and the Korean American population at 1,076,872 (Korean only) and 1,228,427 (multi-ethnic Korean). These numbers represent 35% and 54% increases over 1990 population figures, respectively. Based on the 2000 figures, Korean Americans make up between .38% and .44% of the US population. And Korean adoptees comprise 10% of the Korean American population.

(Thanks to Sunny Jo and Tobias Hubinette for the adoption stats, which can be found with many more at


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