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Record Low in Foreign Adoptions in Twenty Years

According to new sources, foreign adoptions by American families have fallen by 18 percent, the lowest record of adoptions in twenty years. The U.S. State Department, in a report they released in March 2014, showed that in 2013, there were only 7,094 children adopted, this being a 69 percent drop from the 22,884 adoptions that went through in 2004. Since 2004, adoption numbers have drastically declined.

The most recent decline in foreign adoptions has been attributed to Russia's adoption ban. Russia was third in line on the list of countries that accounted for the number of U.S. adoptions taking place; China has seen the most amount of adoptions, Ethiopia is ranked second, and with Russia's ban, Ukraine has taken its place. There was also a significant drop in the amount of children from South Korea, where in 2012 there were 627 U.S. adoptions, but last year, only 138 adoptions went through.

Another suggested reason for the decline has been the manner by which the U.S. State Department has implemented the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption, which enforces the ethical standards that govern inter-country adoptions.

Illinois Adoption Numbers In Illinois in 2013 there were 319 total adoptions, with 174 of the children being female. Of the 319 children adopted, there were 126 children who were between one and two years old; 51 children were between the ages of three and four; 98 children were between the ages of five and 12; and 20 were between the ages of 13 and 17. Illinois, specifically, is thought to have the strongest adoption laws, however, it is failing to stop the terrifying practice called “re-homing.” Rehoming: The Illegal Practice of Transferring an Adopted Child Rehoming is a practice by which adoptive parents, who believe they are unable to take care of the children they have adopted because of the children's emotional, behavioral or health problems, find a way (usually through the internet) to relocate and rehome the adopted children. The danger of the “rehoming” process is due largely to the lack of regulations of the adoptive parents, and children many times in this situation find themselves in sex trafficking or child slavery within the new “home.” In a normal adoption, especially in an international adoption, there are severe and rigorous evaluations that are made of the adoptive parents when deciding whether or not to provide the family with a child. The re-homing practice, however, has not received the appropriate amount of redress, with many state laws being ineffectual at curbing the practice within their borders. Generally, state child endangerment laws were considered to be helpful, but not effectual at full deterrence. The federal law is also loose and at times only applies a misdemeanor to wrongdoers. Illinois's Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children only discusses penalties of sender companies having their licenses or permits suspended or revoked and contains no mention of criminal penalties to further deter these types of violations. It is important to weigh and evaluate many factors before deciding to pursue an international adoption. An adoption, however, provides a home for a child who may be in desperate need and may be a perfect addition for your family. If you and your family are considering an adoption, or are interested in one of our other family law practice areas, please feel free to contact one of our experienced Naperville attorneys for a consultation.

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