Foreign Adoptions Down 15%

US families adopt fewer kids abroad due to strict new policies
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2007 5:11 AM CST
A nurse feeds a baby in an orphanage in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007. The Guatemalan government says it will allow all pending adoptions to move forward, but only after the government...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – US adoptions from abroad have sunk for the third straight year, mostly because China and Russia have tougher policies, AP reports. A drop in adoptions from Haiti and South Korea have also added to the 15% decline since 2004. But a spike in adoptions from Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Vietnam have partly balanced the scales, experts say.

"What you're seeing is fewer countries sending very large numbers of children and a broader range of countries participating," said one expert. He called the trend "healthy," but a Harvard professor said the numbers—and new foreign policies—were "totally depressing" because children aren't being placed in homes. She partly blamed UNICEF for urging countries to care for their own orphaned children.