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International Adoption at All-time Low

By Fredrica Syren

Many of Bella’s friends are adopted, and it is so wonderful to hear their journeys of how they became families. No one’s story is the same. All of them came from different places in the world — from Russia, Guatemala, and China to here in the U.S. One thing is certain: it was meant to be. They all have brought so much happiness to each other. I hope more families will be connected this way and feel it’s great that adoption exists so people can realize their dream of becoming parents. What always strikes me is the instant love that happens as soon as the parents get a picture of their child-to-be.

With this in mind, I was so surprised when I read an article that international adoptions are down and at their lowest rate in 15 years. The biggest reasons for this is the crackdown on baby selling as well as each country’s efforts to place more kids in local homes. I know the cost to adopt internationally was quite expensive and that the waiting time was becoming very long. The last time I heard, the waiting period to adopt a child from China could be up to 3 years. This is a very long time for anyone to wait for their sweet angel.

Some adoption advocates argue that the decrease is also linked to a set of strict international guidelines known as The Hague Adoption Convention. Devised to ensure transparency and child protection following a rash of baby-selling and kidnapping scandals, critics say the guidelines also have been used by leading adopting nations, such as the U.S., as a pretext for altogether freezing adoptions from some countries that are out of compliance. U.S. adoption officials and international agencies such as UNICEF say the Hague Rules, which require countries to set up a central adoption authority and a system of checks and balances, are necessary to safeguard orphans and keep profit-driven players from corrupting a system that should be purely about helping unwanted children.

One of the reasons for the lower adoption rate has to do with countries no longer allowing single parents to adopt. China, for instance, now does this, and up to one- third of all U.S adoptions were by single women. There are more advances in fertility treatments, and surrogacy is more available in the U.S., which also explain the lower numbers. Of course, the bad economy is to blame as well, since more and more parents don’t see international adoption working in their budgets. It can cost between $20,000 and $50,000 per adoption.

It so sad to see that potential adoptive parents have such a hard time finding a baby to love and care for, and I wish this would change soon. The sad part is that there are children who are stuck in orphanages while there are so many great parents out there ready to love these children unconditionally.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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  1. A very interesting and important topic. Thanks for posting this!

  2. My cousin adopted a two-year-old boy from Russia. She was single. Our new addition to the family has made us all very happy.

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