Just as the new year began, Russia banned American citizens from adopting its orphaned children. The adoption ban was a tit-for-tat, politically motivated move in response to the Magnitsky Act, a new U.S. law that imposes sanctions for human rights abuses in Russia. It meant instant heartbreak for hundreds of Russian orphans and the American families currently in the process of adopting them. U.S. families adopted more Russian children than any other country, about 60,000 since the late 1990s.
Russia’s adoption ban puts a further dent in the number of international adoptions overall in the United States. Since 1999, Americans have adopted more than 233,934 children, mostly from China, Ethiopia and Russia – an average of 17,995 children per year. International adoption reached a high in 2004, when 22,991 adoptions were processed. The numbers have fallen precipitously since then. In 2011, only 9,319 children found new homes with American families. Worldwide, adoptions of children fromRead More »from International Adoption Rates Plummet in U.S.