The heyday of international adoption appears to be over.The paper also offers a snapshot of international adoption in Canada and a by-the-numbers infographic on international adoption.
“Intercountry adoption is changing continually. It’s not static. But there are more restrictions in place now,” says Cathy Murphy, the acting executive director of the well-regarded non-profit Ottawa agency, the Children’s Bridge.
The result is higher fees, fewer adoptions, longer waiting times, older kids.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada reports that in 2010, there were 1,968 international adoptions, down from 2,130 in 2009, and peak of 2,180 in 2003.
The downward trend is more stark in the United States, says Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at Harvard Law School and faculty director of its child advocacy program. From an all-time high of 22,991 in 2004, international adoptions fell to 9,320 in 2011.
“In seven years it’s fallen off by more than half. So that’s a pretty stunning falling-off-the-cliff phenomenon. It definitely has affected agencies in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere that help facilitate international adoption. It’s just drying up.”
There are about two dozen agencies in Canada, and shutting down can mean hundreds of families left in the cold. A Vancouver agency, Hope Adoption Services, closed in January, also for financial reasons. An Ontario agency, Imagine, shuttered in 2009 after its founder and general manager were charged with breach of trust and fraud. It all leaves prospective parents with a feeling that their access is shrinking.“The agency pool is getting smaller and smaller,” Ms. Beeman says.
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