Saturday, September 5, 2015

Day 457 - Stats of the Pool

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!  I've been eagerly looking forward to a slightly longer weekend away from work, college football, and the impending availability of pumpkin spice flavoring.

Aside from all of these things, I have also been tinkering with data on the OA&FS waiting pool for the past several weeks.  It's been a while since we've had an update on the statistics, so a holiday weekend seems like a great time to put this together and try to come up with some relevant conclusions based on everything we have on hand!

How Has the Waiting Pool Changed Since We Joined?
Back on June 5th of 2014, we joined the waiting pool.  After joining the pool, more families entered.  Over time, some of those families were selected to by birth families while others like us continued to remain in the pool.

This table shows how families continued to enter the pool after we did.  By the end of 2014, 30 adoptive families had entered the pool.  As of today, 68 families have entered the pool since we did.  Of those 68 families, 23 left the pool and 45 still remain in the pool like us.

Building on the table, this chart provides a clearer visual.  The gray bars show the increasing number of families entering the pool over time.  Green and blue lines show the split between families leaving the pool and remaining in the pool over time.  One interesting thing to note is how the green and blue lines cross.  This illustrates how the majority of families entering the pool between June 5th and Dec 31st have already left the pool (green).  

Composition of the Waiting Pool
Given that the waiting pool is quite sizable, it is interesting to break it down into more manageable groups.  One of the easier metrics to track is orientation.
The chart above shows how the composition of the pool at each of the dates previously used above specific to families entering the waiting pool after we did on June 5, 2014.  The immediate takeaways show three interesting facts:

  1. There have been very few lesbian families entering the pool since we entered.  While this is odd on the surface, it may just be a coincidence of timing.
  2. The proportion of straight families in the pool has consistently risen over time (7%)
  3. The proportion of gay families has shifted slightly and dropped up to 6%.

Rate of Selection
The data above on orientation is mainly surface level.  Digging a step deeper, we have enough information to clearly depict the rate at which each group is being "selected."  Here, I am using the term "selected" as these adoptive families may be selected by birth families or leave the pool due to personal circumstances without being chosen.

Tracking the rate of selection, there are two clear trends.  One is that straight couples typically accounted for 86-91% of the selected families.  The other is that gay couples accounted for the remaining 9-14%.  

Why were the lesbian and single rates 0%?  Of the 68 families entering the pool after us, only 3 are lesbian/single which lowers the odds of selection and makes it difficult to establish any trends.

Can we make any broader statements on the rate of selection?  Based on this data, I would say yes.  Above, we established that straight couples were being selected at an 86-91% rate.  Meanwhile, the chart on waiting pool composition shows that straight couples routinely account for 65-72% of the waiting pool.  This means that straight couples are being selected at a rate higher.  Conversely, gay couples are chosen by adoptive couples at a lower rate.

What Does This All Mean?
To date, we can establish that it is likely we will have a longer wait in the adoption pool because we are gay parents.  This was something we were told by OA&FS our first time around and it makes sense as some birth families may feel more comfortable choosing what they view as a normal family for their child.  While this difference in rate of selection between straight and LGBT families may be narrowing, I think we can say that it still exists.

Also, we can note that our wait time is higher than our immediate peers who joined the pool right after us.  Between June 5, 2014 and Sept 5, 2014, a total of 17 families entered the pool.  Only 6 of those families now remain (35%).

Looking Ahead
Soon, OA&FS will be releasing their yearly report which reviews the past year spanning from July 2014 to June 2015.  We'll be looking forward to seeing if their data aligns with ours and to see if they note any expected trends in wait times, locations of birth families, etc.  On the adoption front, we just received the monthly bulletin on Friday highlighting.  Over the past month, two families entered adoption planning and three families welcomed new children into their lives.  Very exciting to see great news for others as it's a great reminder to us as well that anything can happen at any time.