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?
“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?