The age breakdown of the total 15,916:
Elementary school: 4,830
Junior high: 3,832
High school: 3,172
College: 695 (myth that these kids can’t go to college)
Etc: (probably young adult) 585
In group homes, we have 2,438 children. Their age breakdown:
Elementary school: 848
Junior high: 682
High school: 481
That is a total of 18,354 children in facilities or group homes in Korea.
Summary sheet with more specific information in English.
Foster care families are not widely used in Korea except as a pre-adoption child protection measure. What does exist is not run by the state, but by NGOs such as Save the Children and Good Neighbors. There were 2,289 children in family foster care in 2012. Source: National Statistics Portal.
That is a grand total of 20,643 children in alternative care in Korea.
Regarding the adoption of “older children”: We have to consider that not all of these children who are in the facilities are “available for adoption” because their parents have not released their parental rights. Some will go home. Some will age out. In addition, let’s also consider who foreigners want to adopt. Who wants to adopt a Korean teenager speaking Korean (not English, French, or Italian), who is also going through puberty, or who is almost an adult, and who may not be able to “bond” with their adopters?
Here are the American numbers from the same year of 2012:
Group Home: 23,822
That is a total of 58,001 children in facilities or group homes in the U.S.
Other forms of child protection in the U.S. are as follows:
Pre-Adoptive Home: 14,269
Foster Family Home (Relative): 108,841
Foster Family Home (Non-Relative): 184,379
Supervised Independent Living: 4,114
Trial Home Visit: 21,261
That is a grand total of 390,865 children living in alternative forms of care in the U.S.
You can find more detailed information on the situation in the U.S. at this link.