News Briefs: Intercountry Adoption Updates, October 2017

Read the latest about the Ethiopia adoption suspension and a recent reversal in international adoption statistics.

Ethiopia Plans to Cease Processing New Adoptions

In mid-October, 2017, Ethiopia informed the U.S. Department of State (DOS) that it plans to end its intercountry adoption program. This news comes after months of uncertainty, since the program was suspended on April 21, 2017. The government of Ethiopia has said that it will make provisions for in-process cases, though the DOS does not yet know which cases Ethiopia considers “in process.”

The DOS strongly discourages adoption agencies from referring new Ethiopian adoption cases at this time. If you are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, please stay in close contact with your agency and monitor to stay up to date.


More Boys Than Girls Adopted Internationally in 2016

Amid a continued decline in international adoption, a surprising new trend has emerged: In 2016, U.S. citizens adopted more boys than girls from abroad for the first time ever. As reported by the Pew Research Center, a change in the demographics of children adopted from China is driving this shift. Though the number of children adopted from China each year has decreased along with the total number of international adoptions, China remains the top sending country, accounting for 42 percent of all intercountry adoptions to the U.S. last year. And, in 2016, 51 percent of those adoptees were males — compared with two percent in 1999.


Ukraine and Latvia Call for Missing Post-Adoption Reports

Ukraine and Latvia have both informed the DOS that many families that adopted children from these countries failed to submit required post-adoption reports, and urge these families to send them in.

Families that adopt from Ukraine must report on the child’s health, education, and general welfare annually for the first three years, then every three years until the child turns 18. Reports may be submitted to the Ukrainian embassy or consulate in the family’s state’s jurisdiction, and may be filed in English.

Latvia requires two annual reports, which must be submitted to the Latvian Ministry of Welfare by mail (find the address here) and must include a translation in Latvian.

The DOS hopes that all families will comply with these requests. Post-adoption reports are a mandatory part of the adoption process from Ukraine, Latvia, and many other countries, and parents give their word that they will honor this request when adopting. The timely submission of the reports also helps ensure that intercountry adoptions can continue.


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