How Many US Children Are Being Placed for Adoption in Foreign Countries?

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Actually, the practice may not be as rare as some would think. NAIC occasionally hears that there is a increasing group of private adoption agencies and attorneys who are placing children -- mostly infants -- with families in Canada and Europe. There are no solid and reliable studies or data to support this hearsay information because no agency is currently tracking issuance of US passports to infants, nor is any group tracking visa applications for US infants moving abroad for adoptive placement.

We do have statistics from the Canadian immigration bureau that indicate that 399 children aged 0 to 21 have been adopted by Canadian citizens from 1994 through 1998.

NAIC is receiving an increasing number of e-mail inquiries from European families who have completed home studies which approve them for the placement of a child. These prospective parents contact us asking for information on agencies willing to place American children with non-US citizens.

Most States do not have statutory requirements that prospective adoptive parents be US residents. There are citizens of other countries residing in the US as resident aliens who can adopt US children but not children born abroad, because Under US immigration law, one partner must be a US citizen to petition for the orphan visa. Further, since some States do not have residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents, adoptive families from abroad are now applying to adopt US infants.

There is a requirement in the Hague Convention on International Adoption that would require the State Department to begin tracking these placements once the treaty takes effect in the United States.

This material has been taken from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse Web site as reviewed and approved for addition to this site on January 15, 2004.

The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse http://naic.acf.hhs.gov, can be reached toll free at 1-888-251-0075,or by e-mail at: naic@calib.com.
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