Americans Declining In Overseas Adoptions

The rate of overseas adoptions by American families is declining, according to a recent report in the New York Times. Because America has, for the last century, been the number one country for overseas adoptions in the world, this news is not pleasant for the global adoption system. A number of factors have contributed to the sharp decline in American overseas adoptions including strict stipulations put in place by foreign governments that desire to promote domestic adoption over overseas adoption, foreign adoption agencies that have been shut down due to the deceptive actions of a small percentage of agency workers, and widespread corruption in some countries.

 

Stipulations in Foreign Adoptions

Many stipulations in government adoption procedures have procured Americans from finalizing overseas adoptions during the last few years. Countries like Ethiopia are currently from a drastic increase in the legislative measures that have been enforced regarding overseas adoption. These legislative procedures are often put in place to protect the rights of domestic adoptees to the first selection of children, but these measures often serve to place an indefinite halt on the adoption of American overseas families.

 

Adoption Agency Shutdowns

The Ethiopian government is also an example of a government facing severe legislation due to agency shutdowns. The country’s orphans are suffering due to incompetence on behalf of certain agency officials. In one section of the country, agency workers were caught lying to caregivers about the adoption process by saying that children could be placed in the adoption facility for a period of time while they were educated. Violations in adoption agency procedures like this one can cause an entire country to face terrible consequence. Abandoned orphans who need a home suffer worst of all.

 

Corruption in Adoption Procedures

Corruption plagues many countries in almost every area and the adoption agency is, unfortunately, not immune to its negative consequences. Because of the corruption that occurs with money being exchanged for children, many countries have been complete banned from adoption procedures within the United States.

 

Intercountry Adoption Rates Falling Globally

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.