The number of international adoptions has plummeted to its lowest point in 15 years, a steep decline attributed to a sputtering world economy and efforts by countries to place more children with domestic families. In the last 5 years, adoptions have gone down by 50%. It is estimated that more than 10 million children around the world live outside of a family setting, in orphanages, or on the streets.
The majority of internationally-adopted children are young. Nearly 20% are one year of age, with an additional 50% between the ages of one and four. In most cases, these children are saved from a life of desperation and poverty, leading to happier, safer lives.
The barriers to international adoption are the unorganized and inefficient adoption process, international roadblocks, and well-intentioned regulation. Regulations in place to protect children from human trafficking have had the unintended consequence of closing entire countries to U.S. adoption.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu