Top 14 Countries for International Adoption

Now that countries ban international adoption, we want to know the top 14 countries that allow their children to be adopted internationally.

Stephan Petryczka May 30, 2018

When the United States began to publish an annual report on intercountry adoption numbers in the year 2000, the roster of countries looked very different from last year’s list. International adoption is changing rapidly. Many of the countries that have helped form American families for the past two decades by allowing the international adoption of their children. Many countries are beginning to close their doors to the practice.

The list of countries prohibiting adoption becomes longer each year and now includes Ethiopia (last year’s #2 country for international adoption). Other major players that have banned the practice, either from Americans or the world at large, include Vietnam, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Nepal, and Russia. The former countries mentioned used to be some of the largest contributors to American adoptive families. Since the height of international adoption in 2004, the United States (and other receiver countries) have continued to experience a decline in the number of children received.

Despite the discouraging news, we’ve compiled a list of the top 14 countries that continue to grant American adoptive families the opportunity to form families through international adoption. This information is based on last year’s annual report on intercountry adoption.

 

China
1. China

Americans have been adopting the most children from China for many years. Last year, almost 2,000 new Chinese-Americans were adopted.

South Korea
2. South Korea

Last year, 276 South Korean children were adopted into American families.

Haiti
3. Haiti

Last year, 227 Haitian children were adopted into American families.

India
4. India

Last year, 221 Indian children were adopted into American families.

Ukraine
5. Ukraine

Last year, 215 Ukrainian children were adopted into American families.

Colombia
6. Colombia

Last year, 181 Colombian children were adopted into American families.

Nigeria
7. Nigeria

Last year, 176 Nigerian children were adopted into American families.

Bulgaria
9. Bulgaria

Last year, 147 Bulgarian children were adopted into American families.

Philippines
10. Philippines

Last year, 111 Filipino children were adopted into American families.

Latvia
11. Latvia

Last year, 71 Latvian children were adopted into American families.

Poland
12. Poland

Last year, 65 Polish children were adopted into American families.

Uganda
13. Uganda

Last year, 55 Ugandan children were adopted into American families.

Jamaica
14. Jamaica

Last year, 51 Jamaican children were adopted into American families.

Sierra Leone
15. Sierra Leone

Last year, 44 children were adopted from Sierra Leone into American families.

Ethoipia
16. Ethoipia

We will list Ethiopia as an honorary mention. Last year, 313 Ethiopian children were adopted into American families. Unfortunately, Ethiopia has since banned international adoptions. Ethiopian state news reported that intercountry adoption made children "vulnerable to identify crisis, psychological problems, and violation of rights." The ban will "enable children to grow up in Ethiopian culture, custom, social values and practices of their birth place." This is an enormous loss to the international adoption community. Is no home better than a home without custom and the practices of their birth place?

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Stephan Petryczka

Stephan was born in Ukraine, adopted by an American family, and raised outside of New York City. After meeting with his biological family last summer, he has taken steps toward becoming involved in the greater adoptee and orphan service communities. Stephan recently began coordinating programs for the FRUA young adult group. He is currently studying for his Master's of Urban Planning at New York University.


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