The number of immigrant children adopted from foreign countries by parents in the United States fell by as much as 12 percent in 2015 to the lowest level in over 30 years, new figures released by the State Department have revealed. The 2015 fiscal year department report shows there were 5648 immigrant adoptions, a significant fall from the 2014 figure of 6438 and a decrease of 75 percent from the 2004 high of 22,884.
Since 2004, the number has been declining rapidly, much to the frustration of adoption advocates in the United States. The great majority of immigrant children adopted in the US come from China and that figure increased by 15 percent to 2354 last year from 2014, although it remains below its 2005 high of 7903.
In contrast there was a marked fall in adoptions of immigrant children from other nations, even ones that had been highly ranked in 2014. For Ethiopia, the numbers dropped from 716 to 335, and similar falls from 521 to 303 and 464 to 143 were also recorded for Ukraine and Haiti respectively. Despite the fall in adoptions Ethiopia still came second on the list behind China.
In March, Ugandan lawmakers passed a bill to make it more difficult for foreigners to adopt children, potentially causing the numbers from that country to fall in the 2016 fiscal year, while Congo could see an increase after long-delayed child exit permits finally started to be issued. The overall 2015 figures are the lowest since 1981, according to US immigration statistics.