An opinion piece on the decline of international adoption, written by Chuck Johnson, President and CEO of National Council for Adoption, was published on July 20 in USA Today. We have cosigned the following response to that piece:
Intercountry adoptions to the United States have declined from a high of nearly 23,000 in 2004 to fewer than 5,000 in 2017, as correctly pointed out in a July 20 opinion piece in USA Today. But to say that fewer children are being adopted to U.S. families because of a concerted effort at the State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues is wrong.
Intercountry adoption has primarily declined because many countries have stopped their intercountry adoption programs. As countries focus on placing children in permanent families in their country of birth, fewer children are joining families abroad.
In addition, some adoptive families fail to fulfil the post adoption reporting required by the child’s country of birth. The lack of proper reporting is a concern for those countries who need assurances that the children they allowed to be placed for adoption in another country are safe. Many adoption agencies and the State Department share their alarm. The safety and well-being of these children should always be our greatest concern.
The adoption community will be able to help many more vulnerable children from around the world find safe, loving homes by working together. We seek a spirit of collaboration and cooperation that keeps children first.
Bethany Christian Services, Lifeline Children’s Services, All God’s Children International and Children’s Home Society of Minnesota