The numbers of domestic and international adoptions have been declining over the past several years. For domestic adoptions, combinations of expanded use of birth control, abortion and single parents choosing to raise children have contributed to the fewer numbers of children available for domestic adoption.
On the international front, the Hague treaty has impacted the number of children available for adoption. Several countries have over the past 15 years concluded international adoption programs or had diminished numbers of children available for international adoptions. Those countries include Russian, Romania and Guatemala -- countries who were major senders of the children 20 years ago. Other countries have periodic suspension of adoption programs.
As a consequence, the number of children available for adoption has been reduced. Domestic adoption agencies and international adoption agencies have experienced a decline in available children. Several adoption agencies in Wisconsin and outside Wisconsin have now closed their doors. The result has been a switch of emphasis to sperm and egg donation, embryo donation and in vitro fertilization. These family building measures have been replacing adoptions. Wisconsin has permitted the use of surrogacy and the Wisconsin Supreme Court has declared surrogacy contracts enforceable. However, there have yet to be passed laws providing specific regulation of surrogacy procedures. It would be helpful to establish meaningful surrogacy rules and regulations. Next month more about alternative family building methods.