The National Council for Adoption announced recently that international adoptions are at their lowest since the early 1980s. From a report released by the U.S. Department of State, there has been a 74% decline in intercountry adoptions since 2004 when there were 22,991 adoptions by American families; families adopting foreign-born children. In 2014, American families adopted only 6,441 children internationally. This was a 9% decline from the previous year, and the lowest number of international adoptions by American families since 1982.

When the United States implemented the Hague Adoption Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (The Hague Convention) in 2008, it was expected that a higher number of orphaned children would be placed in loving, permanent homes throughout the world. The expectation was that there would be advocacy and support from the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues as well as the U.S. Central Authority, so that children in dire circumstances (including homelessness, institutionalism, etc.) would be given safe, loving homes where they could thrive and succeed. Sadly, even with thousands of hopeful, loving, waiting adoptive parents, it has become increasingly more difficult to get these innocent children out of difficult circumstances and into safe homes.

According to a press release issued from the National Council for Adoption, CEO Chuck Johnson said, “At a time when the orphan population is growing and there are thousands of willing and waiting adoptive parents, it is heartbreaking that intercountry adoption has faced such drastic decline. Although we believe the Hague has brought positive ethical reform and uniform practice, we are extremely disappointed in the lack of advocacy. We believe that the Hague Convention still holds great potential, but it has been inappropriately implemented.”

The full press release may be read here.