Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

International adoptions at lowest levels in two decades

International adoption, while not perfect, has turned many young children's horror stories into distant memories. Unfortunately, the number of international adoptions has decreased as some governments play political games and other seeks to stamp out corruption in their adoption process.

According to a recent report, international adoption rates have fallen to their lowest levels since 1992. The drop can be partially blamed on Russia's ban on U.S. adoptions, but the trend of lower adoption rates is seen across the board for popular international adoption sites. Each country has its own unique set of issues hindering the completion of international adoption. The Congo has been denying adopted children exit permits to leave the country, while Ethiopia has increased its scrutiny over adoptions to assure the children are not being abused or used in a scheme. While the decline may be an unintended result of the U.S. essentially forcing other countries to sign onto the Hague Convention, for those families awaiting their newest addition the reason behind any delay is inconsequential.

International agency adoptions come packaged with their own unique set of rules and hurdles. As the number of adoption agencies promising international adoptions increases, so does the chance of being taken advantage of by those preying on unsuspecting parents. Because each nation has its own laws and regulations regarding international adoptions, it would be wise to get the right information in order to successfully complete an adoption from another country. Adoption in America can be complicated, but international adoption is a whole different ballgame.

Source: ABC NEWS, "Foreign Adoptions by Americans Decline Sharply," David Crary, March 21, 2014

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