Overall, about 1% of children in the U.S. have biological parents whose parental rights are terminated for abuse and neglect (or voluntarily incident to an adoption of an infant). I'll save detailed analysis for another day.
Recent research has used synthetic cohort life tables to show that having a Child Protective Services investigation, experiencing confirmed maltreatment, and being placed in foster care are more common for American children than would be expected based on daily or annual rates for these events. In this article, we extend this literature by using synthetic cohort life tables and data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System to generate the first cumulative prevalence estimates of termination of parental rights. The results provide support for four conclusions. First, according to the 2016 estimate, 1 in 100 U.S. children will experience the termination of parental rights by age 18. Second, the risk of experiencing this event is highest in the first few years of life. Third, risks are highest for Native American and African American children. Nearly 3.0% of Native American children and around 1.5% of African American children will ever experience this event. Finally, there is dramatic variation across states in the risk of experiencing this event and in racial/ethnic inequality in this risk. Taken together, these findings suggest that parental rights termination, which involves the permanent loss of access to children for parents, is far more common than often thought.
Christopher Wildeman, Frank R. Edwards, and Sara Wakefield, "The Cumulative Prevalence of Termination of Parental Rights for U.S. Children, 2000–2016" 25(1) Child Maltreatment 32-42 (May 21, 2020) doi: 10.1177/1077559519848499 (open access).
There is substantial regional variation in this rate in addition to ethnic variation (image and quoted body text from the paper cited above):
American Indian and Alaska Native children are 2.7 times more likely than White children to ever experience the termination of both parents’ rights, and African American children are 2.4 times more likely than White children to experience the termination of parental rights.
Finally, there is dramatic variation across states both in the risk of experiencing this event for the total population of children and in racial/ethnic inequality in this risk; children in some states have 6–7 times the risk of having their parental rights terminated as children who live in states with the lowest rates of termination of parental rights.