HIV Adoptions From Abroad on Rise

Ethiopia leads nations on finding US homes
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Sep 2, 2008 1:16 PM CDT
Michael Leavitt, US Health and Human Services Secretary, in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 10, 2008. Leavitt says HIV-adoptees pose no publish health threat.    (AP Photo, file)
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(Newser) – More US families are adopting HIV-infected children from overseas, primarily in Ethiopia, the AP reports. Stats from one international agency show 38 adoptions of infected Ethiopian children this year, up from 13 in 2007 and four in 2006. HIV adoptions have also increased in China, Ghana, Haiti, and Russia, say US adoption agencies, though at significantly lower numbers.

Roughly 14,000 Ethiopian children are born with HIV annually. Parents say the disease is more manageable stateside, and US officials find the adoptions pose no public health threat. "I feel like I'm on the cutting edge of making an impact on this epidemic," said one parent. "It's given us a chance to be ambassadors, and our children to be ambassadors." (Read more Ethiopia stories.)