Preliminary inter-country adoption statistics of the US

This week preliminary figures for the number of children adopted from abroad were made public. Not surprisingly the downward trend continued, and it is to be expected that in there were at least 5000 inter-country adoptions less in FY 2009 than in the previous year.

A big contributor to the decrease is Guatamala, which in 2008 still exported 4100 children and has since stopped inter-country adoptions, except for those cases that were pending. It is to be expected some 750 children have been adopted from Guatemala in 2009.

After having a peak of sending 7900 children in 2005, China's numbers have dropped ever since. In FY 2008, the number was down to 3900 and in 2009 the number further decreased to 3000, according to preliminary data.

Most of the other countries saw a decrease too, though not as dramatic. The only two countries seeing an increase were Ukraine, growing from 490 to 600 and, not surprisingly Ethiopia, which saw a further increase from 1724 to 2275. With that increase Ethiopia is now the second biggest sending country in the world and if trends continue, it will surpass China next year as the biggest child exporting nation in the world.

Ethiopia's exponential growth curve is not sustainable, just like it wasn't in Romania and Guatemala before. Somewhere down the line it will hit a brick wall and Ethiopian government will be forced to close its borders. Stories of child trafficking and other forms of illegal adoption are coming in more and more and it's only a question of time before the first country will close its borders for adoptions from Ethiopia.

Canada did that with respect to Guatemala already in 2001, while several European countries followed in 2003. Prospective adopters in the US unfortunately only interpreted this as a sign that children were easily obtained from Guatemala and the number of adoptions soared in the following years.

If Guatemala is a blue print for developments in Ethiopia, it wouldn't be surprising if some countries would stop doing business there in the next year or two, while the export of children will probably reach their maximum around the year 2015 with 4000 to  5000 adoptions annually. The United States being the last to keep importing children, until Ethiopia itself decides to put an end to it. What will be the booming country by then remains to be seen, but it is to be expecting agencies are already working on programs in other countries to make up for the eventual loss of Ethiopia, years from now.

Here are the preliminary figures of inter-country adoptions for FY 2009:

Country of Origin # of Visas Issued
China 3,000
Ethiopia 2,275
Russia 1,600
South Korea 1,050
Guatemala 750
Ukraine 600
Vietnam 480
Haiti 330
Kazakhstan 295
India 275
Philippines 275
Colombia 230
Ghana 100
Nigeria 100
Mexico 70
Kyrgyzstan 20
Total Worldwide 12,700

NEW programs for Adoption Agencies to make up for shortfall.

The agencies are working on countries that previously closed - a good example is Bulgaria which re opened after a few years of shut down and major fraud issues. Nepal is another one they have worked to re hash the program with.
New smaller countries they are working on is Latvia, Liberia (also closed but now trying to re open) Ghana.
Kryzgstan is closed for now with 60 families in limbo who had a child pre-selected.
Anytime a small piss-ant size of a country is exporting a large amount of children out of the country and Adoption becomes one of it's top GDP or Imports $$$. Something is seriously wrong which is what we found out in Vietnam, Guatemala and Kryzgstan.
The other current boom is special needs children, there are adoption "ministries" dedicated to this. Even HIV-positive children are being adopted to the USA. These adoption agencies will always look for a new hook to bring in the sucker American couples who long for a child.
Then we see more disrupts than ever before because the match with the child and family isn't there or they hid the special needs of the child from the adoptive families.
Get this many agencies still get top dollar $26,000+ for a child with Down syndrome and other long term issues.
The countries are all to happy to rid the financial drain of these poor dear kids with major lifetime medical issues and push that responsibility off on the naive born again American. Or is it SAHCMs that is (Stay at Home Christian Moms) with nothing to do with her life but spend her families money on "saving a child" meanwhile she has no further to go then the poor area of her town to accomplish the same thing or to the local county foster care which has a ton of special needs American children in foster care.

Another program is operation "Swoop and Steal"

Agencies will do a temporary - "swoop and steal" in countries like Sierra Leone and American Samoa. The bio parents think the kids were going to a camp and signed illegal paperwork. Next thing you know their children are swooped away and adopted by Americans.

Focus on Children out of Utah (now closed) was caught doing this by USCIS officer.

Making progress, through adoption?

many agencies still get top dollar $26,000+ for a child with Down syndrome and other long term issues.
The countries are all to happy to rid the financial drain of these poor dear kids with major lifetime medical issues and push that responsibility off on the naive born again American.

This phenomenon is striking, when you consider the history of child placement, international adoption and the motives behind baby-selling.

Since it's conception, so to speak, healthy babies have always brought in tremendous profit to those participating in private adoption.  I cannot think of a better example to help illustrate the origins of adoption-greed than that which can be seen here, Bastardy and Baby Farms and  Butterbox Babies (the movie).  In the preface of the book, Butterbox Babies Baby Sales, Baby Deaths  New Revelations 15 Years Later, journalist/author Betty L. Cahill writes: 

The story of baby deaths and black-market adoptions in Nova Scotia surfaced in the fall of 1988, when Malcolm Phillips, a reporter with a local paper on the South Shore, contacted the cbc television newsroom in Halifax. He said he knew of a secret baby burial ground in the area, and that babies buried there had died of neglect at the Ideal Maternity Home more than fifty years earlier. People in the Chester area had told Phillips about the burial ground, but he felt the story was too legally sensitive for him to write about.  [From: ]

For a very long time, healthy babies made money, sick babies were considered worthless burdens... and unwed mothers, (and their infants), were an affront to moral society.

This theme became a working model for those in especially poor/over-populated regions of the world.

Investigations show that sale of babies is rampant in many Nigerian cities. Our correspondents learnt that mostly affected were under-aged women and commercial sex workers who got pregnant in the course of their work and could not abort the pregnancies for one reason or the other.

One area where the business thrives is Ugwuaji village, a community about 10 minutes drive from Enugu. Investigations showed that the community was a fertile ground for child trafficking as well as a refuge for unmarried pregnant girls.

Findings showed that many unmarried pregnant girls from Enugu metropolis thronged the community to avoid public shame in the city. A source said, “They go there to hide and after delivery they contact kingpins of the business who assist them in selling the babies.”

Investigations showed that the kingpins bought each baby from the girls for as low as N70,000. The kingpins sell a male infant to childless couples for N340,000 and a female at N300,000.

 [From:  Markets where babies are sold as commodities ]

The implied message is this -- shame brings unmarried pregnant girls to clinics/maternity homes, as opposed to abortion clinics, and because adoption is the chosen option, a moral resolution can absolve an immoral act.  That would be a lovely washing-of-hands, if not for two things.  One... morality goes out of the window when babies are being taken and then sold immediately to the highest bidder.  Two... those born with known/suspected health problems often go neglected, and/or given a discount selling-price, to keep the inventory moving.  This moving of all children out of the orphanage is supposed to give the worldly impression that care is being given to all children, but the truth is, if there is money to be gained through the life of a child, both orphanages and adoptions agencies/child-sellers will find it.

Meanwhile, in poor countries, an interesting twist to the adoption triad has (unsurprisingly) developed, as explained in the article, Babies For Sale:

· GET RICH QUICK SYNDROME – In Nigeria, ritual is quite rampant. In some of these cases involving the sale of babies, we have heard of ritualists patronising such places. These children are used in money-making rituals for those eager to become rich overnight, or other nefarious purposes. That is the scariest part of the whole matter.

· HARDSHIP/INSECURITY – Because things are so hard in the country, a place where a whole family lives on less than $2 a day, suffering in the midst of plenty, the urge to do anything to survive would surely become more manifest, including the sale of babies for financial recompense, which in most cases is just a pittance.

· CHILDLESS COUPLES – Some people genuinely want to have children of their own, and where this fails, they go the adoption route. The red-tape involved in the official adoption process might make them seek alternative means of fulfilling their hopes of becoming parents, including purchasing babies from shady characters.

This meeting of the (poor-in-pocket) minds explains why some choose to become independent baby brokers, using local hospitals as a ways and means to supplement an income.

Every month, some two dozen infants change hands at the country's largest public hospital and the so-called clinics, sources said, adding the buyers in most cases are child-less couples.

The price range, however, is higher for boys than girls, the sources said. Depending on the identity of the parents, and the baby's look and complexion, the price of a girl child varies between Tk 9,000 and Tk 15,000 while that of a male child between Tk 12,000 and Tk 20,000.

Over a hundred DMCH birth attendants and other employees in collusion with some of their relatives have been running the racket for long before the very eyes of the hospital authorities.    [From: Baby trade booms at hospital ]

As pediatric specialist, Dr Mary Mathers says in the article, Adoption children's health 'neglected', "Adoption does offer a good second chance for many children - but we are now in a situation where we do not find children for parents, we have to find parents who are suitable for children with very complex needs."

The sad irony being, as adoption-awareness programs encourage and inspire many couples in "wealthy" nations like the USA and Canada to adopt, more and more of these paying couples are turning to poor foreign countries with over-filled orphanages because as one AP put it:

After having four boys biologically, Ms. Kurtz says, the couple wanted to add girls to their family. They considered adopting Canadian foster children but "the red tape [in Canada] is just astronomical," Ms. Kurtz says, and domestic adoption is full of uncertainties. With international adoption, "we knew that we'd be able to find siblings," she says, "and we knew that we'd be able to find girls."  [From:  Double-up on adoption ]

Seems absolutely moronic to believe international adoption is without it's serious problems, doesn't it?

I'm glad there seems to be a downward trend in the overall numbers representing children being exported/sold through international adoption.  I hope it continues. I don't see the push to increase foreign adoptions as being a positive; I see the push to adopt any and all types of children as being a very serious problem.... the sort of problem even money can't fix. 

What's on the menu

It remains a puzzling thing that people do indeed want to pay large amounts of money to adopt special needs children from various countries, but children from the American foster care system are largely overlooked.

Most agencies nowadays operating in China, have changed their focus on children with special needs. Wide Horizons even makes it look like there is a menu of conditions prospective adopters can choose from.

When PAP's have a thing for vision impairment, they have the choice between total vision loss, partial vision loss, Strabismus or a child with one or two missing eyes. If hearing impairment is more preferable, there are children with ear deformity (Microtia/ Atresia), partial hearing loss or total hearing loss.

Maybe an albino is cool to have or else parents may be interested in a child with Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, significant developmental delay, mental delay, Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephaly, Microcephaly, Epilepsy, Neurofibromatosis or Spina Bifida/Meningocele.

For those parents more interesting in children with a digestive conditions there is a choice between children with Gastrointestinal Disorders or those with mal-absorption, while those that enjoy facial deformity may be interested in a child with a cleft lip/palate.

Children with blood conditions can be delivered in the following variants: Phenylketonuria, Hemophelia and Thalassemia, or when an orthopedic condition is more preferable, there are children with missing limbs, malformed limbs, missing digit(s), club foot, Scoliosis, small stature/ dwarfism.

Some may prefer a child with a heart condition. In that case there are kids with a congenital heart disease or simply with a murmur.

Wait there is more, there are adoptable children with genital deformity, Hermaphroditism, Hypospadia, kidney malfunction/disease, Rectovaginal/Vaginorectal Fistula, Pyloric Stenosis or an imperforate anus. Or if an infectious disease is the most prefered option there is a choice of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Syphilis or Tuberculosis.

Finally there is of course also the option that the child suffers from the condition of being older than 6.

All children are still very costly to obtain, but given the many options to choose from, uniqueness is almost guaranteed.

Decisions, decisions....

Given so many options, I'm wondering if +HIV is the plain vanilla of all adoption flavors?

In fact, maybe the best fashion accessory a bleeding heart humantarian with money and a cause can get is a child that hits all categories.... provided that child wasn't sexually abused, of course.  No one wants those, no matter how many fingers and toes.

The difference Special Needs domestic vs. International Adoption

One big difference with a fost to adopt domestic special needs is the medical needs are paid for by your state until the child is 18 years of age. This helps offset the HUGE medical bills these adoptive parents are racking up. Some are temporary expenses some of these children will have lifetime issues, ranging from $20,000 to $500,000+

Do the agencies ever prepare the adoptive families for this? Or in their naive mind they think that God will provide?

No wonder so many children from International Adoption are being disrupted into our American Foster Care system. Sad very sad, I know of a few already that were disrupted in California.

From public burden to private nightmare

Do the agencies ever prepare the adoptive families for this? Or in their naive mind they think that God will provide?

Think about this scenario.... the sending side does not disclose all medical information, OR it will lie about pre-existing medical conditions found in the soon-to-be sent child.  Meanwhile, the AP is expecting a certain child with certain known conditions whilst the sending side knows what's being sent.  The unsuspecting financially drained receiving AP does not have any idea that the sent child has medical problems that require very expensive medication/long-term care.  [A very disturbing example of this can be seen in the video Fly Away Children.... the second half of the piece.]  In many cases, this bait and switch is not discovered until after the papers have been signed and the child arrives in the States.  A full head to toe physical assessment is made by a family doctor, and that's when the new parents learn they are in way over their heads.  Who pays?  If the AP's are lucky, their insurance pays.  If they are even luckier, their church (or local charity) pays.  [In today's economy, imagine the risks associated with this!]  Who wins?  The government that can rid it's sick to those who can pay for the service.  Even if I were a millionaire and cost and expense were not an issue for me, if I were an AP and given a sick child who was reported as being healthy, I'd be mad as hell.

The general public must wake-up and see the blessing behind adoption is very twisted since the gods behind final placement seem to save/favor the hide of those working to mislead.  These judges/god-wanna-bes are making it so public expense becomes a private matter, making the life or death of a child the new parent's problem, not the government's.  [God-forbid a government should demonstrate a sense of caring responsibility towards it's own people... regardless of a person's annual income.]

Bottom line -- no government wants to waste money on the sick and poor.  That's bad business.

If AP's want to absorb the cost poverty, neglect, and poor care brings, all the better.... that makes the lords of adoption very happy.    One must remember, in adoption land, it's not about saving lives, or reducing's about saving costs and reducing expenses.  [Thou have been warned.]


The Briefing by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond can be found here. Let's see if concern over the explosive growth of adoptions from Ethiopia, will be met with real monitoring of the process.

Re hash or Re org of Nepal program

I read this in the news and it broke my heart. This family truly had the best interest of this child in their heart. They didn't set out to adopt, but this older child grew on them. Lets hope the Nepal government can straighten this out soon, the child seems so eager to learn.

Alameda family longs to reunite with adopted girl
By Lucinda Ryan
Posted: 01/07/2010 01:22:23 PM PST

The Alameda family who last year added a second child to their home only to lose her when they went to Nepal to finalize her adoption is still waiting for her return.

In 2006 the then 5-year-old girl, Tsering Dolker Gurung, was living with her aunt in the Nepalese mountains, working as a baby sitter in exchange for food. Her mother had died, and her father was usually absent, earning what little money he could tending yak.

Poverty and hunger are the standard of living in the country's Upper Dolpo region. Dolker's aunt was no stranger to that lifestyle. Wanting to arrange a better life for Dolker, she contacted Lama Tenzin, a Tibetan monk, who moved children from those conditions into an orphanage in India.

Alamedan Tricia Parrish knew of Tenzin, and when she heard he was coming to the U.S. to raise funds for his child-rescue mission she invited him to speak in Alameda, where she, her husband Philip Kaake and son Emmett Kaake live. During his presentation, Tenzin brought pictures of children he had brought to the orphanage in hopes of getting U.S. sponsors for them. His plan was for the children to live together at the orphanage, rather than farm them out to strangers in foreign countries.

But when Parrish saw the photo of Dolker carrying a child on her back, she felt a connection.

"I felt like I knew her and that she belonged with us," Parrish said.

The couple had no previous plans of adding children to their

family beyond 13-year-old Emmett. They had never discussed adoption.

In July 2008, Dolker arrived in Alameda.

Within days, she was playing on the beach at Crab Cove, chatting energetically in broken English, grinning and at ease with her new family. She attended Otis Elementary School, where she became known for her easy smile and eagerness to help other children.

In early 2009, the family needed to finalize the adoption. They packed their bags and went to Nepal, anticipating the four of them would return to the U.S. But Nepal's new government hadn't finished developing its adoption laws. Dolker had to be left behind.

The family had their hopes set on good news in October or November, when contacts in Nepal said the political processes had progressed and that the paperwork would reach the right government office, then move on to the U.S. Embassy. But that didn't happen.

"This setback was really hard," Parrish said. "We had this huge expectation that it would be finalized. We have to find her father again to sign more papers, and it was unbelievably hard to reach him last time. He's tending yak in the middle of nowhere."

Philip Kaake created a Web site,, where he continues to post photographs and updates on the adoption process, which, so far, has yet to be completed.

Excerpts of his recent posts follow:

"Over this past year Dolker had returned to CED, the orphanage Lama runs in India.

The Nepali government is still in a state of political instability. The Maoist Prime Minister stepped down. This could have been good for us but unfortunately it just causes more confusion and creates a shuffling of government employees.

—... the unfortunate news is that because of the political situation it put our paperwork back to square one.

"We spoke with Lama recently and he is doing everything he can. He has vowed that he will not give up until this work is completed.

"Words don't really express how hard it has been to not have her with us at this time. Dolker celebrated her first birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas with us last year. We still hope and pray and try as best we can to stay connected with her. We call India at least once a week and talk to her. She will read from some of her books to us and I will read from her SpongeBob book to her. We always tell her how much we miss her, love her and want her here so she will not lose faith either." Parrish said "This is something that just doesn't make sense. We love her and adore her, and she fits in the community, but political pieces are prohibiting this union and reunion for all of us. This setback was really hard. But I'm not giving up."

The family has so far spent more than $21,000 on travel and expenses related to the adoption process. Kaake said they are bracing themselves for additional bills. Friends of the family have put a fundraiser in place. Checks may be mailed to Philip Kaake, in care of Friends of Dolker, 1812 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, CA 94501 or donations can be made online at the Web site.

The fastest growing segment of Int'l adoption is special needs.

The biggest growth in Int'l adoption is that of special needs. there are websites dedicated to this like Some have minor corrective issues like "clef" while other's have serious medical issues or conditions: heart, HIV+, etc., One of the most popular is the adoption of Down Syndrome babies. While I think this is great, I question whether this is done to speed up the adoption process and whether the parents are TRULY aware or trained for the care of these children. It should be a requirement that they fly to the country and meet the child and have a medical plan for care in place.
here is an article about how "Special Needs Adoption can be like a horror Movie"

Five Ways Adopting Children With Special Needs Is Like a Horror Movie
Tuesday July 28, 2009
The new horror movie Orphan has raised some hackles among adoption advocates for appearing to suggest that older kids adopted from Eastern Europe are unloveable and, you know, evil demon-seed killers. As someone who adopted two non-infant children from Russia, I can say that our life has been way closer to a Hallmark movie of the week than a horror film, and that even with our children's challenges, they are as far from evil as it is possible to be. Still, thinking back to those days after we brought our kiddos home, there are certain horror movie cliches that pertain.

1. The portentious pronouncement. Just like a mystic in a musty horror-movie office mumbling something doomworthy about the child in question, a neurologist examined my five-year-old daughter a few months after she came to the country and spat out, "This child has cerebral palsy. Why did you adopt her?" I mean, it's not demonic possession, but he certainly said it like I had brought down a curse upon my house.

2. The disbelief. In horror movies like Orphan, the mother knows something is not right about the child, but everyone she turns to for help refuses to see anything but sunshine and lollipops. Reminding me of the way our adoption agency (the very one that e-mailed me to protest Orphan, come to think of it) had no resources to offer us for dealing with our children with special needs, 'cause, you know, time and love makes all the problems go away!

3. The blame. As the horror-movie sap who Sees the Truth continues to pursue it, she's invariably cast as the villiain by all the trusting onlookers. And how well I remember the endless discussions on e-mail lists, early in my post-adoption years, in which parents who spoke out about behavioral problems were accused of not loving their kids enough ('cause love heals everything, don'tcha know?), and of ruining Eastern European adoption for everybody by letting on that some kids have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and some kids have Reactive Attachment Disorder, and some kids don't speak perfect English after three days home.

4. The destruction. Well, my son didn't wreak supernatural havoc the way you see in horror movies. But he did bang his head on the wall by his crib often enough to leave a hole. And he did bang his head on my face hard enough to rearrange my sinuses. Not bad for a guy with no special-effects budget.

5. The surprise. That Orphan kid is Not What She Seems! (And how, from what I've read about the final twist.) The same, I must say, is true of our adopted kids -- they're not what we expected, or what we first thought, or what the adoption agency would have liked us to believe. They are their own unique, individual, independent, ideosyncratic selves, developing at their own pace and blossoming, we hope, under our love and support. Sometimes life's a drama, sometimes a thriller, often a comedy, always a love story. Just like any parenting, no?

"special needs"

Years ago, the only children that had worth in the adoption market were strong healthy babies. Children who didn't make the grade were neglected so bad, they eventually died. Now there is a growing market for down syndrome and cleft pallets, or even kids with missing limbs and cardiac problems. This must be a wonderful development for self-serving orphanage directors and corrupt government officials. With each adoption made, a cash fee gets collected.
Does anyone know if the forced donation fee, paid to orphanage directors, are higher for children with special medical needs?

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