NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. Families Adopt Foreign Children at Record Pace

December 6, 2002

The number of international adoptions hit a record level this fiscal year -- with 20,099 children from other countries adopted here, according to the State Department.

  • That number is triple the figure in 1992.
  • The highest number of children -- 5,053 -- came from China, followed by Russia, Guatemala, South Korea and the Ukraine.
  • China and Russia are popular countries for adoption because they are amenable to adoptions -- and China has an especially good system, with financial transparency and ethics in place, adoption specialists report.
  • One of the reasons foreign adoptions have climbed since 1993 is the increasing unavailability of healthy white infants in the U.S. -- due to the growing reluctance of unwed white mothers to part with their children.

Experts report a new "historically unprecedented" willingness on the part of American couples to adopt across racial, ethnic and cultural lines. People no longer mind adopting children who don't look like them because the rest of society has come to accept that and the neighbors no longer raise their eyebrows.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Foreign Adoptions Grow to Record Levels," Washington Times, December 6, 2002.


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