Wanted: A Bundle of Joy
Byline: Pat Wingert
If Brangelina is any indication, American interest in adopting foreign children is stronger than ever. So why is the United States adopting fewer of them? According to early projections by the State Department, foreign adoptions have dropped an estimated 10 percent from last year--the fourth straight year of decline since the high-water mark of 22,884 in 2004. Experts say the downward trend is likely to continue as countries such as Russia, Guatemala and China, which in recent years had been among the largest providers of orphans for adoption, have either dialed back their programs or ended them entirely. "It's not that American interest has diminished at all, or that there are fewer kids who need homes," says Chuck Johnson of the National Council for Adoption. "The declines are directly the result of bureaucratic or political issues."
In China, a process that used to take a year--and was lauded for being efficient, transparent and affordable--now takes 31 months and is expected to get longer. …