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Adoption Q&A #4

What is the Current Status of International Adoptions?

President Bush signed the bill necessary for implementation of the Hague Treaty on international adoption in mid-November. The effective date in the United States is April 1, 2008. Will it resolve the current international adoption issues?

Yes and no.

People seeking to adopt internationally have been frustrated with developments over the last six months of 2007. Primary sending countries such as China, Russia and Guatemala have all implemented moratoriums or slow-downs with their international adoption programs affecting United States adoptive parents. The implementation of the Hague Treaty in 2008 may help resolve some problems, but it remains to be seen whether international adoptions will be as plentiful as has been the case over the last decade. We are seeing the emergence of sending countries such as Vietnam, Columbia and Ethiopia. Domestic opportunities remain stable in private placement and foster care conversion areas. Adopting parents should at least investigate special needs adoption as an alternative. Many children adopted internationally would qualify as special needs children in this country. More information on special needs adoption can be found on the Adoption Resources of Wisconsin website.

The Hague Treaty will be onerous for adoption agencies that become Hague certified, but those certified agencies will enjoy less competition due to the reduced number of agencies competing for business internationally.

Improved education and disclosure under the Hague Treaty should mean a better informed group of adopting parents. It may lead to fewer adoption dissolutions for international children.

The adoption of the Hague Treaty may lessen the countries available for placements for adopting couples.

It will take years to assess its true impact.


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