With Russia closing its door, where should adoptive parents turn?

With Russia closing its doors to adoptions by U.S. families and declines in adoptions from China, Ethiopia, and South Korea, where should U.S. families focus their efforts to adopt children?

From USA Today:

“Adoptions by Americans from abroad are plummeting to a 20-year low after peaking at nearly 23,000 in 2004 and falling to 9,319 in 2011, according to the State Department. The number is expected to plunge further now that Russia, the third-largest source in the last five years, has announced it won’t allow Americans to adopt its orphans. Late Thursday, a Russian official said an existing adoption agreement with the U.S. would remain in effect until 2014 in spite of the new ban, but that no new adoptions would be permitted and only ones already cleared by the courts would be allowed to proceed….”

“A lot of families may switch to domestic,” said Jenny Pope of Buckner International, an adoption agency. Yet even that’s a growing challenge, because as single parenthood becomes more acceptable, she said “there are just not as many women placing their children for adoption.”

“As a result, the number of U.S. infant adoptions (about 90,000 in 1971) has fallen from 22,291 in 2002 to 18,078 in 2007, according to the most recent five-year tally from the private National Council for Adoption. Though the numbers are only current through 2007, the group’s president, Chuck Johnson, expects the number has remained fairly stable since 2007, citing efforts to promote adoption.”

“There are fewer foster-care children available, because more are reunited with birth parents or adopted by relatives and foster parents. The overall number of kids in the system, 401,000 in 2011, has hit a 20-year low. The number waiting to be adopted fell from 130,637 in 2003 to 104,236 in 2011, according to the U.S. Children’s Bureau. Their median age is 7 and they’re a mix of races (28% black, 22% Hispanic and 40% white.)”

Experts advise parents that adoption will be much bumpier ride than in the last 10 years.

Have you signed the petition going around Facebook that asks Russia to allow adoptions currently in play to continue?

Are you currently trying to adopt in Russia? What will happen with your adoption plans?

If you are thinking about adopting, would you try overseas or try for a baby in the U.S.? Would you consider adopting foster children? (We have a friend who took in a precious baby in foster care and helped the baby through loads of problems and then a family member showed up and took the baby. The mom still gets to see the child some but it was really hard. She would have loved to adopt the baby.)

If you’ve been through the adoption process what are your recommendations?

25 comments Add your comment

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 14th, 2013
9:56 am

Guys — I had this set to pop up and it didn’t publish at midnight like it was supposed to. I am so sorry. I am really frustrated with the system. I don’t know why it’s not doing what it normally does just fine!! ugg!!

at any rate two new topics for today –

mom2alex&max

January 14th, 2013
10:45 am

I know that a lot of people are gonna come in here and say that this is a good thing because people ought to be adopting American kids anyways. But the problem is that this is not as simple as it sounds either.

Adopting a healthy baby in the USA is practically impossible. And if you want a healthy white baby, well forget it. I bet the waiting time for that is probably years.

Most of the kids that you can adopt here are older, come from very difficult family situations and have a lot of physical and mental problems. My hat is off to anyone that wants to attempt that, but most people just want a baby they can raise as their own. And also, there is always the possibility of birth mom wanting the kid back, and judges do tend to want to reunite families, regardless of the position those families are in.

So don’t condemn ANYONE that has tried or has succeeded and adopted abroad. The roadblocks placed by the current bureaucracy make it impossible to do it locally.

Stanley

January 14th, 2013
10:51 am

THe decrease in adoptions from abroad has a whlle lot to do with fewer kids needing homes abroad AND to a much-needed crack down on corruption in international adoptions — trafficking and kidnapping kids into adoption from Guatamala, Nepal, Ethiopia, Cambodia, etc. has resulted in shutdowns and slowdowns.

EJ Graff wrote several great articles for Foreign Policy magazine – “The Lie We Love” and “Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis”. The latter shows how if the big bucks from US families who want to adopt are removed from the system, the trafficking/kidnapping/etc of Vietnamese kids for thepurpose of adoption drops down to near-zero.

dixie pixie

January 14th, 2013
11:34 am

Have been trying for 7 years to adopt. We have had three sets of children in our home and had no problem fostering. The minute we mention the A-word (adoption), some other “magic” family appears and they are allowed to adopt the children. We decided to forego any more foster children. We are so tired of hearing how many kids are “in the system” and we can’t seem to adopt any of them! We can’t adopt from overseas due to age regulations. We WANT and older child/ren, but get stonewalled at every turn.

Celeste Waitsman

January 14th, 2013
11:53 am

My husband and I attempted to adopt white children many years ago and was not able to. We finally decided to adopt any baby that needed a home and almost instantly we were allowed to adopt 4 African American babies and I can kick myself for not being open-minded about children of all racial backgrounds when I was a younger woman. I advise any couple that truly wants a newborn babie and does not have an issue with race to adopt an African American baby. My life was empty until these wonderful children entered my life.

Quira

January 14th, 2013
12:31 pm

All the roadblocks to adoption make you wonder if there is a reason that the state discourages adoption…

mom2alex&max

January 14th, 2013
12:40 pm

Quira: I’m sure the reasoning is that they don’t want “unfit” people adopting children. But as dixie pixie has pointed out, it is pretty ridiculous. She has posted that she has fostered several children before and as soon as she tried to adopt them, some relative “magically” shows up. So where was that relative before? Why was dixie fostering these children if there were supposedly people fir to raise them?

I think the whole thing is BS. I think loving parents should be able to adopt children with a minimum of hassle and that there should be a time limit to bio people “magically” showing up. If they have been in the foster system for more than a certain amount of time, then bio people lose their rights and people like dixie should be able to adopt them with a minimum of hassles.

mom2alex&max

January 14th, 2013
12:41 pm

Quira: I’m sure the reasoning is that they don’t want “unfit” people adopting children. But as dixie pixie has pointed out, it is pretty ridiculous. She has posted that she has fostered several children before and as soon as she tried to adopt them, some relative “magically” shows up. So where was that relative before? Why was dixie fostering these children if there were supposedly people fit to raise them?

I think the whole thing is BS. I think loving parents should be able to adopt children with a minimum of hassle and that there should be a time limit to bio people “magically” showing up. If they have been in the foster system for more than a certain amount of time, then bio people lose their rights and people like dixie should be able to adopt them with a minimum of hassles.

mom2alex&max

January 14th, 2013
12:41 pm

Teresa, my comments are being eaten by the filter no matter how many times I post/

Denise

January 14th, 2013
12:47 pm

@Celeste Waitsman – your post made me smile this morning for some reason.

My ob/gyn has been less than encouraging about my fertility (does she know how close to getting kicked in the face she was, sitting close to my feet in the stirrups…probably not) and basically told me that my best hope is adoption. I am only going to be 40 in March and am child-free, even though I don’t WANT to be (I’ve never TRIED not to be, though). I am happy every time I hear of a successful adoption – the process and the following home situation – because I’ve heard horror stories from my old boss. I am keeping hope alive and staying prayerful that I will be able to have my own children but I am open to raising someone else’s biological child as my own.

As far as going abroad, from what I hear it’s easier than getting a baby here. That is so stupid to me! We complain about “the system” yet we don’t let the children out of “the system” when there is a home available to welcome them. And the fact that the mother or father can come back and say “never mind”…goodness! That would deter most people from adopting and getting attached to a child. Honestly that is my biggest fear. That and having the mother change her mind after we had an agreement.

Kar

January 14th, 2013
12:56 pm

As someone who was adopted abroad I have to agree. There are lots of babies locally in the United States. Yes, there is always the risk of the family popping up at some point but still, it’s easier than living in China for six months or basically being blackmailed by another country for foreign adoptions.

The kicker though, was the implicit and explicit qualifier on “white” babies. Or for that matter babies in general. There are so many kids out of diapers who would love a forever home. We really do need more families willing to try fostering to adopt.

From personal experience I can say it so works.

jarvis

January 14th, 2013
1:28 pm

If your heart is set on a whitie, married couples can still adopt from the Ukraine.

Metro Coach

January 14th, 2013
1:34 pm

Can’t understand why people who are supposedly want children so badly only want white babies. If you want a child that bad, a black, hispanic, or whatever “race”(because race is a social construct, there’s not one iota of difference between a Caucasian newborn and an African American newborn) baby should feel like a gift, not like a pile of smelly garbage that turns your stomach. Where to turn TWG? Right here in America, right here in GA, heck, probably right in your city/town/municipality.

motherjanegoose

January 14th, 2013
1:39 pm

Thank you to those who welcome children into their homes. I know it a big job to raise a child and to step in for a child’s future is an amazing gift.

Perhaps someone could help this family out. I heard it on the radio and could not believe it but here it is:

http://truenewsusa.blogspot.com/2013/01/angel-adams-mother-of-15-welfare.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FkNeGY+(True+News+USA)

@ Tiffany….January 11, 2013 6:51: I am just home from donating my blood. I do it because I want to and I am O negative. No one forces me to donate. I donate things in many other ways too. My compassion is ready when I have the choice and am not being forced ( taxes) . My compassion covers: chicken, vegetables and even cookies. Just not Coke and crablegs.

cobbmom

January 14th, 2013
1:39 pm

I worked in the foster care system for a decade. The number of chances biological parents gets depends on the judge’s whim. Some judges drastically limit the chances for “reform” while others give chance after chance at the public expense. The state I worked in stopped putting names on the list for white infants nearly 20 years ago, because there aren’t any white infants available. The one white infant that I placed for adoption went to the foster parent. I did place several white toddlers with their foster parents who adopted them. I know it’s hard to comprehend the length of time it takes to adopt here in the US but when you see the news stories about foster parent atrocities (when they are closely monitored) putting a child with a permanent parent without supervision or monitoring takes a lot of background checking. If you are willing to take an older child or an ethnic child the process is quicker, not because you aren’t carefully vetted but because there are more children available. I have to admit some of the most joyful occasions I have had were when I got to tell people they were getting to adopt their foster children.

Techmom

January 14th, 2013
1:41 pm

I would love to see a study done on children who were in foster care and were given back to their biological families. Do things typically work out or do the kids end up back in the same crappy situation? I have heard so many horror stories about families who foster only to have the children taken away when the bio-family suddenly decides they want to parent again. That’s enough of a deter for many people. Who wants to risk loving a child only to have them taken away? Not to mention the process to become a foster or adoptive parent sounds horrendous.

We know people who have adopted from other countries and I just figure if they say it’s easier to adopt from a foreign country (even if it requires you to go spend a month or more waiting for the adoption to finalize), than it is to adopt locally, well that’s enough for me to know not to even attempt that process. Best of luck to the people who are trying to adopt, regardless of where they are adopting from.

Not A Mom

January 14th, 2013
1:54 pm

I seriously think want-to-be-parents should try to adopt domestically. I know more than 5 couples in open adoption situations that are all working wonderfully – however, the thing these adoptions all have in common is that white families are raising non-white children. I think people are generally selfish and want a white baby (healthy, of course!). If you change your requirements, there are plenty of easily adoptable children here in the US.

bbb1267

January 14th, 2013
2:30 pm

All the talk about how few “white babies” there are, yet “the system” supposedly has almost as many white kids as black and hispanic combined…

Denise

January 14th, 2013
3:37 pm

@bbb1267 – really? I’m surprised but not really, I guess. I’m sure that Black and Hispanic kids just end up going to someone in the family. It’s almost expected that the grandmother with raise the unplanned kid if the mother is a teen…(except for if it was ME. My mama told me when I was a teenager that she’s HELP but would in no way raise my kid. Good incentive to NOT have a baby back then.)

Lin

January 14th, 2013
4:08 pm

If you want to adopt a child, consider the foster care system. These children have done nothing wrong – they happened to have the misfortune to be born into families who couldn’t care for them. Yes, many of these children are “older”, but just read their profiles and open your hearts. They desperately want to belong to a “forever” family who will love them and keep them safe. See kids free for adoption from every State at this website. I’ve never met an adoptive parent who had regrets.
http://www.adoptuskids.org/

Misty

January 14th, 2013
8:38 pm

What’s sad is that most couples only want babies. What about the older children that need homes and a loving family? Yes, some, if not come with baggage but good counseling and a good doctor would help correct those. I agree with Lin (4:08 PM). What about babies that need love and help because of physical problems? They’re human too.

missnadine

January 15th, 2013
12:34 am

@MJG – I have read about that awful woman, but boy I am surprised that someone like you would even look at truenewsusa.com. Just read any of the comments made to articles on that site.

motherjanegoose

January 15th, 2013
7:07 am

@ miss nadine…I heard it on the radio and Googled it and that came up. I could not believe it. The comments were as bad as the scenario of someone with that many kids. It is a crazy world isn’t it?
Scary stuff for sure.

missnadine

January 15th, 2013
8:25 pm

The fact that there are people that call other people the n word and apes will always be worse than anything this person does.

Bubba

January 18th, 2013
4:00 pm

My wife and I adopted a healthy white boy, born in Georgia, back in the 1980s, and got him within weeks of completing the home study. It was expensive then. I have no idea now much more expensive it would be today. He is a fine young man, the light of my life. But don’t let anybody tell you adoption is simple or easy, or that there are not deep emotional and psychological issues for the kid and the parents. The same can be said for biological parenting, but they simply don’t warn you of what the issues will be when the kid reaches different levels of development. If we had issues of adoption anxiety, etc., I can just imagine what the issues are when the kid looks nothing like the parents.