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The Future Of Adoption: International And Domestic

Russia, Guatemala, and more are slamming the door on American adoptions. Is the great age of international adoption behind us?

In this Jan. 30, 2013 photo, Drew and Frances Pardus-Abbadessa pose for a picture in the nursery originally intended for their would-be adopted son, at their apartment in New York. The boy's Russian name is Vladimir, but they hope one day to be able to name him Franco Michael, the name still displayed on the wall. (AP)

In this Jan. 30, 2013 photo, Drew and Frances Pardus-Abbadessa pose for a picture in the nursery originally intended for their would-be adopted son, at their apartment in New York. The boy’s Russian name is Vladimir, but they hope one day to be able to name him Franco Michael, the name still displayed on the wall. (AP)

Americans know international adoption well. Look around. There are families all over with adopted children from China, Korea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Russia.

But the profile of American adoption is changing. International adoption is way down over the last decade. Down by more than half. Sometimes it’s a political change: Russia just threw the brakes on last fall. Guatemala is housecleaning its adoption process. China has decided it needs its girls.

And there are a hundred thousand children in the US foster care system ready for adoption.

This hour, On Point: the changing global profile US adoption.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Elizabeth Bartholet, professor of law and director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School.

Kathleen Strottman, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. (@KathleenStrottm)

Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a non-profit focused on adoption issues. Author of “Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming our Families — and America.” (@adampertman)

From Tom’s Reading List

ABC News “The 22-month-old boy ran out with a big smile and exclaimed, “Mama!” It was a moment Robert and Kim Summers had dreamt of for months, but feared would never happen. After weeks of uncertainty and diplomatic wrangling, Russian authorities have begun to allow a final few adoptions to the United States to proceed, squeaking in under the wire despite Russia’s new ban on adoptions to the United States.”

New York Times “The number of foreign children adopted by Americans has plunged to its lowest level in more than a decade as some countries have cut back on adoptions to the United States and others have struggled to meet stricter standards intended to combat corruption and child trafficking, government officials said Thursday.”

National Journal “As a mother of two adopted children and the wife of a man adopted from overseas, Sen. Mary Landrieu knows a thing or two about adoption. So when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill last month banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, the Louisiana Democrat took it personally. And she has been fighting ever since for American families left in limbo by the law.”

 

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