Global rates of intercountry adoption, adopting children from other countries, are taking a nosedive, according to Peter Selman, expert in intercountry adoption who works for Newcastle University.
Since 2004, the numbers have dropped by more than 200 each and every week. They’ve halved since 2004. Italy has managed to maintain its adoption numbers, being the only country in Europe to do so.
One of the key factors playing a role is strict US adoption laws, which allow US birth mothers to choose their adoptive parents. They are far more likely to choose an American over someone from another country.
Another factor is the 1993 Hague Convention, which is set up to guard against abuses and further regulate intercountry adoption. Countries that sign up have to follow strict guidelines that may include passing on adoption requests from certain countries it would have previously approved. Ireland signed up for the convention in 2010, which adds another western country to the list.
Prospective parents in Ireland looking to adopt now can’t look for children in many of the countries that would have previously been considered and now have to look to countries like the US, which as mentioned previously, doesn’t often ship their children out of country.
It’s also possible that these numbers are just tied with declining birth rates. As the adult working population spends more time at work, the desire to have children goes down. Couples that may have previously been interested are no longer interested, especially with the mounds of paperwork and time it takes just to get approved for an adoption these days.
There are also scientific advancements in fertility treatments. Couples that may not have been able to previously have children can now in some cases find success. All of these factors can contribute to these declining rates, and it doesn’t seem that they will soon make a recovery.
Adoptive parents face many barriers to a successful and mutually beneficial adoption process, including the enormous amount of money required to finalize the adoption. Many Americans are struggling to determine why international adoptions have become almost three times more expensive than domestic adoption. In a recent New York Times article, a contributor discusses the possibility that foreign governments are adding undue and unnecessary restrictions to the foreign adoptive process in an effort to limit the number of children adopted to other countries.
There are an estimated 140 million orphans currently living in the world with thousands of new children being orphaned on a daily basis. People with generous hearts who wish to alleviate this world wide problem are often met with hurdles that should not exist in the adoption process. While an adoption should, in ideal terms, consist of a legally binding agreement between two or more persons transferring the rights to the child from one parent or governing body to another, it is often a process riddled with difficulties.
Government officials in several countries including the United States and Canada have been attempting to limit the interference that some governments have in the international adoption process. Many governments limit these adoptions in hopes that the children born in these countries will be educated as citizens of these countries. This way, these countries can benefit on the productivity of both natural citizens and orphans alike. Several members of the United Nations have argued that this position is cruel and is not considerate of the well being of orphaned children. While many parents in wealthy nations would like to use their considerable resources to care for orphaned children, legal red tape and endless stipulations often prevent them from doing so.
As a response to the legislation passed by countries like China to place limits on international adoption, UN officials have developed an international effort to pair orphans with supportive families from around the world who desire to adopt internationally.
A recent Forbes article discussed interesting new ways that adoptive parents could raise the money to pay for adoption procedures. Even as adoption increases in popularity in the United States, the costs associated with the process increase faster. Perspective adoptive families must pay attorney’s legal fees, fees for home studies, domestic infant adoption costs, private agency costs, inter adoptive agency costs, and a host of other costs depending specifically on the type of adoption occurring. The legal hurdles and unplanned events in an adoption can cause the rate to skyrocket past the already expensive standard that already exists. In response to the these costs, many Americans have had to come up with creative ways to raise the money for adoption.
Budgeting With a Vengeance
The term, “super budgeting” is used to described the intense way that many couples cut out excessive spending in order to save for adoption. Couples have moved out of apartments and into tiny homes in an effort to avoid expensive monthly rental rates and put the saved income toward adoption fees. One couple, the Morts of Pennsylvania, saved over 20 thousand dollars annually and placed it toward their adoption fees.
Picking Up Odd Jobs
Another couple seeking to adopt in Wyoming made headlines for picking up odd jobs for eight years before earning enough to pay for adoption. Jobs that can boost income are often available and the extra effort in completing them could all but pay for the adoption process. It has actually become frequent for perspective adoptive families to develop side businesses to fund adoption.
With the increase in popularity of crowdfunding sites like Go Fund Me, families have also been raising money for adoption through the intake of donations. The Beverlys of Minnesota raised 30 thousand dollars for the adoption of their youngest daughter by creating a crowdfunding account. These sites can be extremely beneficial for families and can allow money to be saved for the actual raising of the child.
The social media website, Pinterest, has recently made headlines because of the company’s inclusion of adoption and surrogacy insurance in its already well rounded employee benefit package. The company has become well known for its treatment of employees and has earned a coveted position Forbe’s best places to work list. The company is adding adoption and surrogacy benefits in response to a published report regarding the overwhelming shift in American families toward alternate ways of parenting. These new changes to the benefit changes are expected to increased the overall employee satisfaction rate with Pinterest’s facilities.
Pinterest was developed and launched in 2009 when an innovator decided that social media users could be engaged by an idea-oriented website (as opposed to a more interactive Facebook or Twitter themed website). Pinterest’s idea focused, visual website became popular within a year of its initial launch. The site centered around photos of home decor, fashion, art, and exercise and gained 1 million users in its first year. The company continued to experience large amounts of success in a relatively short period of time. Company heads developed corporate offices and expanded Pinterest’s brick and mortar facilities to 14 different states.
By the early part of 2012, Pinterest had amassed nearly 12 million new subscribers and had expanded its employee count to over 1500 individuals. During this time, Pinterest executives intentionally cultivated a work culture that allowed employees to receive a unique experience. Employees were encouraged to view themselves as contributors to the creative experience that Pinterest provides for its subscribers. In an effort to help this process along, employees were paid highly competitive salaries, received lucrative bonuses, and received three months of paid maternity and paternity leave. In fact, Pinterest’s benefit package is considered one of the most progressive packages available in todays’ market and is often listed as the reason that employees choose to work in the facilities. The company announced recently that it would continue to change the benefit package to better ensure that employee needs are met with regards to family planning.
Recent studies have made new discoveries about the life of an adopted child and his or her parents. While foster care aims to provide these children with a normal lifestyle, there are key differences that cannot be overlooked. Using the term adverse child experiences (ACEs), foster children are at nearly double the risk of these difficult situations. Many of them see parents hitting one another or arguing vehemently on a daily basis. These violent actions can have negative effects on the child’s life and the way they conduct themselves in society. Parental divorce is also much more likely to occur. It is a common misconception that adoption only affects the child. Even though the couple might be harmonious upon adoption, their views on the world can change over time. These risks have increased over the past decade, and experts want to put an end to this trend.
Income is another major implication. Adopted children are more likely to be placed in low income households that do not have adequate resources to support their youth. In other cases, the parents might be unwilling to make a full economic commitment, leaving the child with few other places to go. In coming years, the national federation is looking to impose economic rules that will guarantee hospitality for each child. They refer to moral standards across the globe when making decisions in this manner. Adoption is supposed to be an intimate process that links strangers in incredible ways. When this bond is broken due to unfortunate living circumstances, something needs to change. The world of foster care has changed for the better and worse over the past few years. If we can enlighten people about these harsh realities, they will be more inclined to support movements that fund abortion. As tough as it is, adoption has limits that we need to overcome.
When Shaun Lokey mentioned that he wanted to adopt children, his wife, Anna, was unsure about it at first. Anna did not think that she would be able to take care of the children. In fact, she did not think she was being a good mother to her own children.
Anna was also hurt by something that happened earlier in her life. Her parents had wanted to adopt a little girl, but the adoption was never finalized. The girl’s relative decided that they wanted to raise the child.
When Anna mentioned that she did not want to adopt a child, Shaun did not discuss the topic with her for a few years. He showed Anna an adoption video, and she changed her mind. Shaun reassured Anna that adoption was not about being a perfect parent. It was about participating in the children’s lives.
Anna eventually agreed to adopting the children. The Lokeys were already parents to three children, and they decided to adopt three more. Anna once thought that it would be a burden to take care of someone else’s child. She now considers it a privilege.
The Lokeys’ children were adopted from China. More Chinese children are adopted in America than any other country in the world. One of the reasons that the Lokey decided to adopt children from China is because the adoption process was straight forward and easy. The adoption costed anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Most of the expenses were related to travel.
Shaun encourages parents who are interested in adopting children should look into different programs. Lily was the first child that the couple adopted. She was adopted in 2010 when she was two-years-old. Judah was the second child. He was adopted in 2012 when he was six-years-old. Milo was adopted in 2014 when he was three-years-old.
Anna and Shaun have had their share of challenges with the children. The language and culture barriers were just two of the many challenges the couple faced. However, they have managed to adapt.