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International Adoptions Declining

But the big question is why? If there are more willing parents than ever before, shouldn’t there be ample mechanisms in place to connect children with families?

Photo courtesy of Google Images

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The United States of America has been considered the global melting pot of nations for two centuries, building a diversity through countless people representing a plethora of countries.

A credit to the cultural blend of the country is adoption, especially since its peak reached about 23,000 adoptions in 2004, quadrupling since 1984.

However, since then, the international adoption rate from the United States has plummeted an alarming amount, dropping to just over 6,000 adoptions in 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Chuck Johnson, chief executive of the National Council for Adoption, says, “The number of Americans interested in adopting hasn’t decreased. As opportunities close abroad, agencies and families are turning to domestic solutions.”

For example, China was previously the biggest country through which international adoptions were made due to their shorter waitlist and most secure program compared to other countries.

But in more recent years, the country began greatly restricting their policies, limiting primarily to special needs children.

Adoptions from Guatemala and Cambodia halted while Russia completely cut out as the Hague agreement was taken on in 2008.

This agreement was intended to clear up issues with fraud in adoption processes, facilitating more ethical adoptions so that when both countries sign, the child’s best interest would be protected.

Instead, the Hague agreement caused unanticipated roadblocks in potentially positive and beneficial situations, lessening the number of children trying to attain homes and families wanting to provide that while not being as effective as anticipated in weeding out the unsafe adoption agencies.

Cambodia, Russia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia have all closed their borders to international adoption.

Thousands of children in these countries still have needy children waiting for families. However, if the counties do not meet the heightened standards to be a source for new hope, they are forced to shut down their borders to adoption.

Elizabeth Curry, American mother of 12, five of whom were adopted, speaks of what she has seen the past few years in international adoption.

“I now watch as some families try to bring home critically ill children or children who are about to age out of their respective system, adoptions in which time is of the essence,” she told her blog readers.

“Because of the layers of bureaucracy that are now in place, it has become impossible to gain visa approvals in a timely manner for these children. This means there are children who have either died or aged out while waiting for the wheels of government to grind out their approvals.”

It can be because of domestic unrest within the county’s political government.

Or perhaps it is an attempt to reduce human trafficking and child exploitation.

However understandable all these things may be, they are hindering the adoptions of innocent children, and discouraging adults who simply desire beautiful, new, safe family relationships.

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Abigail Scanio

Abigail Scanio

Abigail Scanio is a contributing journalist for MBU Timeline. She is a majoring in Communications Studies. Scanio is apart of the MBU Resident Life staff. She enjoys exploring Saint Louis coffee shops, practicing yoga, and thrift store sweater-hunting.

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