The Crisis With International Adoption
150 million orphans in the world. A number that is nearly 2% of the world population. Our goal should be to find a safe and loving permanent family for every one of those children. The United States should be leading the way, not only in adopting children, but in setting an example for the rest of the world. But instead the United States is inexcusably turning its back on the adoption of orphan children – since 2004, the number of adoptions from foreign countries to the United States has not grown, but has declined by an astounding 87%.
WHY? Because since the adoption of the Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoptions, the United States has sought to encourage other countries to join the Treaty and then refused to work with them because they don’t have a child welfare system that is up to U.S. standards. The Office of Children’s Issues, under the U.S. Department of State never set increasing the number of ethical intercountry adoptions as a goal, but rather set about to regulate the most detailed steps in the intercountry adoption process. With proven opponents to intercountry adoptions managing the bureaucracy charged with accrediting agencies to work in intercountry adoptions, they didn’t stop at establishing regulations, but knowingly violated those regulations to aid in the formation and selection of an unqualified entity to serve as the accrediting entity holding the fate of hundreds of non-profit adoption agencies’ fate in their hands.
A Complaint was filed with the Inspector General of the Department of State in December 2017, but 1 ½ years later the IG punted and said they deferred to the Department in interpreting the regulations.
Since 2018, this entity (Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity – IAAME) has managed to cancel or lead 33% of accredited agencies to lose or relinquish their accreditation – leaving thousands of families to look for other agencies to take over their cases.
Fewer agencies means that fewer children are served. That’s because each agency has its unique sphere of influence and ability to inspire people to adopt. The children adopted from abroad nowadays are almost exclusively over the age of 6, or have special needs, or are part of sibling groups. As a result, it takes a wide number of agencies with unique social reach in order to advocate for these children in need.
A Recent Survey of Accredited Adoption Agencies (with more than a 57% participation rate) found that 87% of accredited adoption agencies were dissatisfied with the Department of States’ efforts to collaborate with the adoption community as required by its own regulations. 96% of the accredited adoption agencies who responded to the survey were DISSATISFIED with the overall fairness and competency of IAAME’s accreditation and oversight activities.
Senator Roger Wicker recently Spoke on the Senate Floor to call out the anti-adoption bias of the Department of State and urged his fellow senators to answer the call to respond to this crisis for orphans around the world.
On October 26, 2020, Eight (8) US Senators including Roy Blunt, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Burr, Chris Van Hollen, James Lankford, Roger Wicker, James M. Inhofe, and Michael S. Lee WROTE A LETTER to Carl Risch in Support of Senator Wicker’s Effort.
This is a CRISIS that only be resolved with a change of leadership and a change in vision in the Department of State. These orphans cannot vote or even speak for themselves.
WE CANNOT ALLOW THE PRESENT SYSTEM TO CONTINUE!
Please step up for the orphans and SAVE ADOPTIONS!