What’s new in intercountry adoption?

Just a few days ago, the U.S. Department of State announced the launch of their new intercountry adoption website.  This site is a great resource for families interested in international adoption or those who are already going through the process.  Resources available include country alerts, statistics, latest news, information about who can adopt and what the process is, as well as a Hague-accredited adoption agency search to name a few.


In the wake the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11th, many have expressed their concern for Japanese orphans.  One article discusses why this may be a very different emergency response than that surrounding the earthquake in Haiti last January.  Japan is a developed nation, with more capacity to respond to the disaster and care for its orphans than Haiti.  And while the U.S. allowed a special humanitarian parole for those children in Haiti matched with U.S. adoptive families prior to the earthquake, the U.S. government then as now with Japan did not encourage families to try to begin the adoption process.  Japan has not suffered this same sweeping devastation and does not face an overall lack of capacity to shift resources around to care for children in need of parental care – and thus while the ongoing needs and devastation of the country cannot be quickly forgotten, it is important to recognize the vast differences between these two countries’ plights.


Earlier this month the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs announced they will again allow single woman to adopt.  In 2007, China stopped allowing singles to adopt, in addition to a myriad of other restrictions on age of prospective adoptive parents, weight/BMI, and past antidepressant medication usage.  China has long been the top sending country to the U.S.  Peaking in 2005 with 7,903 adoptions, China has since been on the decline in the number of adoptions to the U.S., in part because of these restrictions instituted in 2007 combined with an effort to promote domestic adoption in China.


On March 9th, the Government of Ethiopia announced they would drastically reduce the number of intercountry adoption applications that it was processing each day by 90%.  This Washington Times article explains the rationale behind Ethiopia’s decision and looks ahead to what lies ahead for Ethiopia’s orphans.

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

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