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U.S. International Adoption Crisis
Tate Wright | May 18, 2020
More children are being left behind each year as the numbers of children adopted internationally continue to drop. According to the U.S. Department of State Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions, families in the United States adopted just 2,971 children through intercountry adoption between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019. "This is a decline of 26% from the previous year and an 87% decline since 2004. The number of children finding permanent families through intercountry adoptions to the U.S. is now at the lowest point in 50 years" (NFCA, National Council for Adoption).
Whats The Cause?
A commonly held perspective among
Americans is that international adoption
is just too expensive for them. And
they're right. Many people would like to
help, but simply don't have the money.
So, why is it so expensive? There are a
few reasons, but they all surround one
fact: government policies don't
convenience international adoption.
Increase in Fees
In February of 2018, The Department of State established massive fee increases concerning agencies ability to obtain and maintain accreditation from the federal government. This accreditation gives agencies the ability to perform international adoptions. This fee almost doubled the previous cost of accreditation in the U.S. This means that less agencies are able to perform international adoptions and those that can will have increased fees for prospective parents and families that want to adopt children in need. This not only puts many agencies out of business and leaves their employees without work, but more importantly leaves thousands of children without a home or stable environment.
Ban on "Soft-Referrals"
In late 2018, The Department of State banned Adoption Service Providers from offering "soft-referrals" to prospective families until family studies are concluded by the state and children are deemed officially available for adoption by the local government, often times requiring many months. Soft-referrals include any information, including pictures, of any prospective children that the family could potentially adopt. In many international situations, the pictures and stories of children in need is what causes prospective families to desire to adopt in the first place. Without this ability to receive soft-referrals, the number of children adopted, especially those with special needs, has decreased dramatically leaving more children without access to the help they need.
If these policies are changed, it is estimated that by 2030 international adoption will save 81,250 orphans from sex trafficking, 32,500 orphans from suicide, and 130,000 orphans from becoming homeless. If not changed, it is estimated that these policies will completely terminate international adoption in the United States by 2022. At DELIVEЯ , we want to ensure that every child has the best chance at a happy and fulfilling life. With your help, we can perform more international adoptions and push government and state leaders to change these policies. Join us by making a donation, joining our team, or learning more about the options for your family to adopt internationally.