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International adoptions to the U.S. dropped in 2012

U.S. citizens who adopted foreign children dropped by seven percent in 2012 to levels not seen since 1994. Experts say the number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents will be even lower this year, as Russia has recently prohibited U.S. residents from adopting Russian children.

The highest international adoption rate was in 2004, with nearly 22,884 children coming into the U.S. Only 8,668 foreign adoptions took place in 2012.

The greatest number of foreign children are adopted from China, with the most being 7,903 in 2005. Only 2,589 were adopted from China in 2012. Russia was the third highest source of foreign adoptions in 2012, after China and Ethiopia. Russia says that all adoptions of Russian children that took place prior to prior to January 1, 2013 are still valid, but that children adopted after that date may not be allowed to go to the U.S.

The primary reason for the Russian ban on U.S. adoption is political. Russian leaders resent actions that the U.S. has taken against Russians who violate human rights.

Another reason for lower adoption numbers is that it has become increasingly difficult to adopt children from countries that have historically contributed a significant number of children. Several Southeast Asian countries, for example, have severely curtailed the number of children who are adopted as their governments deal with adoption-related corruption and fraud.

Adoption advocates stress, however, that there are still around 100,000 children in need of adoption domestically, many right here in Colorado. Indeed, adoption is not a one-way street. Nearly 100 children were adopted into foreign countries last year, with 41 going to Canada and 28 going to the Netherlands. Numerous organizations and attorneys specialize in helping people adopt children from within the U.S.

Source: CBS News, "Foreign adoptions by Americans down by 7 percent," Jan. 24, 2013

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