Why Did International Adoption Suddenly End?
Statistics Technical Report
Published: July 2016
This report explores the decline in international adoption, reasons for the decline, and the best interests of adoptable children. It begins by noting that 2004 was a record-breaking year of international adoptions in the United States but that since then the number of international adoptions has fallen with 2015 being the lowest figure since the early 1980s, a 75% decline in just over one decade. A brief history of conflicts and disasters that fostered international adoptions is then provided. The impact of supply side constraints is explained, including the imposition of restrictions and adoption moratoriums in South Korea, Cambodia, Guatemala, Vietnam, and Nepal, as well as the promotion of a specific interpretation of the Hague Convention that international adoption should be considered only when all other alternatives have been tried. Changes in the characteristics of the children available for adoption are also discussed. The rise of African adoptions and international surrogacy are addressed, as well as controversies surrounding the best interests of orphaned children.
intercountry adoption; adoption fraud; black market adoption; ethics; adoption statistics; historical perspective; best interests of the child; Hague Convention