The Latest Trends In International Adoptions

A recent study presented by the Pew Research Center sheds some light on the decline of international adoptions. International adoptions in 2016 were down 77% from the peak in 2004. In addition, boys outnumber girls in international adoptions for the first time. 

In the past decade, international adoptions to the U.S. have declined dramatically due to a number of factors. One of the most significant contributing factors has been the shift in policy of the five countries which make up the majority of U.S. international adoptions. We’ve highlighted some of the most significant data from the report.

  • All five main countries for U.S. international adoption – China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea and Ethiopia – have revised their adoption protocols making adoption more difficult from these countries
  • These five countries accounted for 71% of all international adoptions to the U.S. since 1999
  • These five countries have driven 88% of the total decline of international adoptions since 2004
  • The number of adoptions from China has declined, but still exceeds adoptions from other countries
  • After the Chinese eased their “one-child” policy, the shift from predominantly female adoptees changed to a slight majority of male adoptees
  • The average age of adoptees has increased with 35% international adoptees in 2015 and 2016 ranging from age 5 through age 12

Despite the shifting policies about international adoption to the U.S., the U.S. is still adopts the most children internationally, accounting for 46% of all adoptions among 2 receiving countries that are part of the Hague Adoption Convention. 

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