International AdoptionThe total number of international adoptions by Americans fell by 9 percent in 2014 reaching its lowest point since 1982, according to State Department figures released last month.

The department reported a mere 6,441 foreign adoptions by Americans in 2014, down from 7,094 in 2013. After peaking in 2004 at 22,884 foreign adoptions, numbers have steadily declined, likely due to stricter adoption laws put in place by countries like Russia, China and Ethiopia.

After peaking at 7,903 international adoptions in 2005, China implemented stricter adoption laws as part of a nationalist sentiment against adoption. However, in recent years China has attempted to expand its domestic adoption program in an effort to curtail the rate of child abandonment in the country. Unfortunately, international adoptions in China remain strictly sanctioned causing hopeful adoptive families to wait many years before being matched with a child.

Russia, which in years past has seen high numbers of American adoptions, completed only two adoptions with the U.S. in 2014 after imposing an adoption ban in retaliation for a U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human-rights violators.

Top 10 countries for 2014:

  1. China – 2,040
  2. Ethiopia – 716
  3. Ukraine – 521
  4. Haiti – 464
  5. South Korea – 370
  6. Democratic Republic of Congo – 230
  7. Uganda – 201
  8. Bulgaria – 183
  9. Colombia – 172
  10. Philippines – 172

Interestingly, numbers for Ukraine, Haiti, South Korea, Bulgaria and Colombia increased slightly from the previous year.

To compare these numbers to previous year, look back to last year’s blog post. You can read the report at the State Department website, or read the Associated Press’ analysis.