Adoption of children to the United States who were born in another country began as a response to the aftermath of World War I. These adoptions were not the transcultural adoptions we associate with international adoption today. These were Americans of European descent adoption European war orphans.
Adding Color to American Adoptions
In the 1940’s Carl and Helen Doss (a white couple) broke the adoption barrier color by adopting children of different ethnic backgrounds. They counted 12 adopted children as their own from the places such as the Philippines, Hawaii (not a state then), India, Mexico, and other places. Helen told their story in her 1955 book, The Family Nobody Wanted.
Following the Korean War armistice, Bertha and Harry Holt received Congressional permission to adopt South Korean war orphans. The Holt’s passion for Korean orphans drove them to establish one of the first international adoption agencies. Holt International Adoption continues today managing the regulations and red tape to get children into “forever families” as quickly as possible.
Those Crazy ‘60’s
After the social changes of the late 60s and early 70s, there were fewer American orphans available for adoption because of increased availability of contraception, a rise in the abortions following Roe v. Wade, and an increase acceptance of unmarried women as a single parent. 1970 is the peak year of what we now call domestic adoption with just over 175,000.
With technology shrinking the world, Americans became more aware how war, disease, poverty, and government policy in other countries were creating more orphans than some countries could handle. Americans who wanted to grow their families through adoption started looking overseas.
In 2004, adoptions to America peaked at 22,991 and have been declining since.
Then The Government Came To Help
The U.S. State Department 2015 fiscal year report says that only 5,648 children were adopted from outside the United States. This is a 69% drop since the peak in 2004 of 22,991. As wars rage and political policies rejecting families continue, the problem of children growing up without parents has not decreed 69% over 9 years.
The blame for the decrease lays at the feet of the world governments who forced the Hague Convention on the us lead by UNICEF.
Yes, there were abuses that needed to be addressed but in typical over-reactionary styles, the bureaucrats have created a situation where more children are growing up without families. It would be ideal for children to grow up in their own families or at least in their country of birth but for hundreds of thousands of children around the world, their home-sweet-home tonight is an orphanage.
Well, at least now the bureaucrats feel better about themselves for doing something. Hope the orphans understand.