Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why International Adoptions by Americans Have Hit a 35-Year Low

An Orphanage in Russia

By Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
Christianity Today Gleanings

In 2004, Americans adopted 22,884 children from foreign countries—an all-time high.

Twelve years later, that number has dropped to 5,648 children—the lowest level in 35 years, according to recently released statistics from the US State Department on fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015).

The sharp decline isn’t limited to the United States; global adoptions to the top 24 receiving countries dropped by 75 percent during the same 12 years.

Foreign adoptions have been in short supply while demand has surged among American evangelicals, prompted by Russell Moore and other leaders.

Last year, Americans adopted the most children from China, Ethiopia, South Korea, Ukraine, and Uganda. Most of these adoptive US parents lived in Texas, California, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

American adoptions from all countries

American Adoptions from All Countries

While reasons for the steady decline are multiple and complex, 80 percent of the drop in American adoptions can be traced back to three countries: China, Russia, and Guatemala, according to the State Department.
The Russian government banned Americans from adopting Russian children in 2012,  leaving in limbo thousands of children and dropping the number of Russian adoptions from a high of 5,682 in 2004 to zero last year.American Adoptions from All Countries.

American adoptions from Russia

American Adoptions from Russia

Guatemala suspended foreign adoptions to all countries while it works to clean up a system full of fraud and corruption. The 3,251 adoptions of Guatemalan children in 2004 dropped to 13 in 2015.

Read more about the drop in adoptions of China and other countries:

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