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The Number of Foreign Adoptions Dropped in 2006.

A Dramatic Drop in Foreign Adoptions by Americans in 2006.

For the first time in recent memory, the number of foreign children adopted by Americans was down in 2006. After 15 years of steady growth for international adoption by Americans, the sharp decline was a surprise to many.

The decline was caused by a number of factors.

Throughout 2006, processing adoptions in China dropped dramatically. A ‘waiting for referral time’ in 2004, grew from 6 months to 12-14 months. Recently the news also reflects the limitations China is placing on foreign adoptions. New stipulations and tightening restrictions on “who” can adopt will likely see a continuing drop from China. These restrictions deal with things like income levels, the prospective parent’s weight, a history of using anti-depressants and a preferred age between 30-50 years old.

According to the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA), China now has fewer children who need families. According to Lu Ying, Director of CCAA, "More domestic families have adopted children from our center in recent years and economic and social development has meant that fewer children have been abandoned or orphaned.”

There were also dramatic reductions in adoptions from countries like Russia, Guatemala and South Korea.

The number of adoptions from China dropped from nearly 8,000 in 2005 to 6,493 in 2006.

In 2006, there were 15,710 foreign adoptions from China, Guatemala, Russia and South Korea. That is a reduction of over 14% from 2005 with 17,958 foreign adoptions.

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