THE ADOPTION Authority of Ireland (AAI) sent a delegation to the US last week to discuss inter-country adoption with officials there.The fact that the U.S. is a receiving country in international adoption, that U.S. citizens adopt children from abroad, is very well known. Less well known is the fact that the U.S. is also a sending country, with children born in the U.S. being adopted abroad. Statistics from the State Department peg out-going adoptions at a very low level: 25 kids in 2008, 26 kids in 2009, 43 children in 2010. Children from the U.S. were adopted to Austria, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom & South Africa. The State Department even publishes a Guide to Outgoing Cases from the United States.
The delegation was headed by its chairman, Geoffrey Shannon.
It is understood there is an increased level of interest from Irish couples in adopting from the US.
A few weeks ago I chided South Korea for placing children for international adoption:
The fact that South Korea, one of the most economically prosperous countries in the world, in fact, the 4th largest economy in the world, cannot take care of its own children is a tragedy. We're not talking here about a war-torn, economically impoverished, "third world" country, with millions of orphans languishing in orphanages. We're talking about an idustrialized nation, a high-tech nation where 98% of the population is literate, 86% of the population is urban, where less than 0.1% has HIV/AIDS. Does this look like the picture we have of a country that "needs" international adoption?
So what does it say that the U.S. places children in international adoption?