The Decline Of International Adoption

Why is this happening?

Denalee Chapman May 01, 2017
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International adoption in the United States are continuing to decline. Why? There are so many hopeful adoptive parents who are on waiting lists. Many of these parents are open to the idea of adopting internationally. The number of orphans worldwide is increasing. So what’s the problem?

According to Crossroads Today, the decline has been consistent for 12 years.  Just last year, the drop was nearly 5%. The State Department officials are working with various countries, trying to ease their concerns and strengthen efforts towards increasing international adoption. But Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council of Adoption says the state isn’t doing enough.

“These negative results are not the experiences of the great majority of internationally adopted children nor of their adoptive families; neither are the actions of a few providers indicative of the majority of accredited U.S. adoption providers,” Johnson said in relation to the accusation that adopted children are being re-homed, mistreated, and other negative concerns by their countries of origin.  Johnson further calls upon officials to step out of their comfort zones of either ignoring the issue or “endorsing it in lukewarm fashion.”

Some countries are saying that when the US changes a few things, they will consider increasing adoption to our families. According to, those items are:

  • U.S. adoption agency practices that are illegal or unethical
  • Re-homing, and the lack of nationwide laws to prevent it
  • Post-adoption paperwork falling through the cracks and not being submitted as required

For hopeful adoptive parents, all this red tape is beyond bothersome. It’s preventing their families from being united. Specific stories in the news regarding families who have completed all they are required to do, but are still waiting for their children to be released and come home to them, are numerous. Take a look at this NY Times article highlighting just a few.

So what can we do? Perhaps if enough individuals put enough pressure on enough officials, greater action will be taken to get the countries of the world united in a cause to save our world’s children.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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