Tuesday, September 17, 2013

US Kids Being Adopted Overseas? - You Will Be Surprised.

Did you know that there are many many children being adopted out of the US to other countries?
I didn't know this until CNN featured it on their recent series on adoption.  Apparently there are many US Kids being adopted out of the US. 
Seventy Dutch families who adopted U.S. kids gather for an annual Fathers Day picnic in June.

This article is from CNN and the link is as follows:
Here is an excerpts from the article on the number of children being adopted out of the US.
"For example, in 2010 the U.S. State Department counted only 43 U.S. kids who were adopted overseas, but the same year five countries -- Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland -- reported adoptions of 205 children born in the U.S., Selman said. According to statistics by receiving countries, there were 126 U.S. children adopted overseas in 2004, steadily rising to 315 in 2009.
The State Department's system for tracking international adoptions only includes reports from certain adoption providers, such as those accredited under an international treaty known as the Hague Convention, a spokesperson said. Other adoptions involving U.S. children, like those completed through the foster care system, are not counted. "In order to address that shortcoming, we have increased our outreach efforts to encourage receiving countries and public domestic authorities to report the outgoing adoption information to us," State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Finan said by email.
Canada is the number one destination for children adopted from the U.S. -- 148 went there in 2010 -- likely owing to its proximity, experts say. But the Netherlands has consistently ranked second each year; about 250 U.S. children were adopted by Dutch families from 2004 to 2010."


  1. Dear Steve,

    Congratulations! You finally found out that the US is sending children abroad for international adoption. I am so surprised that you, who are an adoption expert, did not know that already. I am just an ordinary Korean adoptee who lives in Sweden and I have known that the US is one of the biggest senders of adoptees overseas for many years. I have lived in Canada and I am surprised that you do not know that your neighboring country receives so many children from just the over side of the border.

    I know you are promoting international and transracial adoption, so I wonder what you will do about your new knowledge? Will you start promoting more international adoptions from the US to other countries? Or will you promote domestic forever homes for these American kids? If you choose the first option, please start campaigning now because why should these kids have to stay in poor homes with poor parents? If Korean children benefit from international adoptions, of course these American children do to. Right? (Because of course you do not only want Korean kids to get great homes, a good person like you also want the best for American, Swedish, Australian etc kids) If you go for the latter option – I would encourage you to also support ASK, KUMFA, Dandelions and TRACK at the same time. If you feel that you do not have enough knowledge about their work, you can read more about them on Facebook or http://www.adopteesolidarity.org/indexH.html (ASK) or http://www.adoptionjustice.com/ (TRACK).

    Please keep us updated so we can follow your mission to promote more international adoptions of American children!

    Thanks for reading!

    1. Thanks, but in order for the Hague Convention to mature, there needs to be intercountry adoption available for all countries (after they tried first to place the children with birth families and domestic adoption, of course). So in a way I am glad that homeless children in the US that are not adopted by the US citizens are being adopted abroad. I think someday some of the US kids may be placed with families in Korea. I think the Hague leaves the door wide open for this possibility.

    2. Dear Steve,

      Thanks for your reply! Are all these American children really homeless? Wow! You must have so many homeless children in the US. In Sweden we have a welfare state so we do not have so many homeless children that we need to send them to other countries. Good for our children!

      The Hague Convention was first written in 1993 - could you please tell me how long time do you think it will take before this Convention is mature enough to start to support domestic solutions instead of promoting suggestions that are against the Convention?

      How many years do you think it will take for Korea before you will be able to support domestic solutions in front of sending children abroad?

      Please consider reading this reference - as these researchers claim that international adoption from Korea has prevented domestic solutions.

      Sarri, Rosemary C, Baik, Yenoak & Bombyk, Marti, ”Goal displacement and dependency in
      South Korean-United States intercountry adoption”, Children and Youth Services Review 1-2/1998.

      Thanks for reading!

    3. Perhaps you didn't know, but MPAK has been in Korea for 14 years and have promoted domestic adoption by bringing about positive changes to the Korean adoption culture. I have always maintained that stop intercountry adoption only when there are no more children to send abroad. Before that to happen we need to promote domestic adoption as much as possible. I find it unfortunate that you would conclude that what I am doing goes against the Convention.
      Today MPAK has 28 regional adoptive family groups throughout Korea and five in the US where Korean-Americans have adopted children from Korea. Children need homes whether domestically or international. If they can't find homes domestically let them find homes abroad.
      Please don't misunderstand that I am only advocating children to be placed in overseas and go against the Hague. My work with MPAK in Korea has helped many children find homes domestically.

  2. I don't think that anyone is going to argue against the suggestion that more financial support should be provided for single parents and families in crisis in South Korea (or any country). Unfortunately, welfare spending is something that seems to get hit by every downturn in the economy in almost every country. I was reading recently in the news about funding issues related to the provision of school meals to children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Seoul for example.

    The social stigma against unmarried women who have illegitimate children, or even against women remarrying with existing children in tow after having been widowed or divorced, is still very widespread in South Korea. It can be difficult to find childcare, or to find employment, and also to get married. Obviously this is improving, but social change is often quite slow, and actually - compared to many other countries - South Korea has seen relatively swift progression in many areas.

    As the daughter of a single mother myself, I very much admire those women who feel strong enough to keep their children, and feel compassion for those who feel that they must make the painful choice to give up their children. I am very much aware that it would have been almost impossible for my mother to raise me back in the 70s without family support.

    Providing financial assistance, and putting laws in place to try to prevent discrimination are great strides in the right direction. However, let's also not lose sight of the fact that women need to be able to tell their families that they are expecting a new life without fear of being rejected and disowned and they need to feel that their child will not face discrimination due to their choices in the future.

    I also don't think that anyone is going to argue that adoption within the country of birth isn't preferable to being adopted by a family from another country. However, until adoption really takes root as being a completely accepted method of building a family, there simply won't be the level of interest needed to provide homes for all of the children who need them.

    Due to the various restrictions and legal issues, the majority of children without permanent families in South Korea are not even available to be adopted by foreign parents and in many cases not available to be adopted domestically either. This is similar to the situation in the US where children are often not able to be adopted for many years due to all of the legal requirements and instead bounce around in the foster care system or institutional care.

    Obviously this varies from country to country, and (hopefully) improves as a society progresses, but I'm not aware of any country that has a 'perfect' solution.

    My own opinion is that all options should remain on the table until such time as sustainable alternatives are made available.