International Abortions Tumble Cost A Factor

05.10.12 | Sarah Harnisch

International adoptions have fallen to their lowest levels in 15 years. Experts say the decline is attributed largely to crackdowns against baby-selling, a sputtering world economy and efforts by countries to place more children with domestic families. Globally, the number of orphans being adopted by foreign parents dropped from a high of 45,000 in 2004 to 25,000 last year, according to annual statistics compiled by Peter Selman, an expert on international adoptions at Britain's Newcastle University. The U.S., which historically has received about half of the world's annual international adoptions, saw a decline of more than 60 percent from 2004. Alison Dilworth, a U.S. adoptions official, says the economic downturn is at least partly to blame, with foreign adoptions typically costing between $20,000 to $40,000. Then there are familial restrictions-- some countries don't allow adoptions by gay couples or single mothers. China, for instance, stopped allowing single woman to adopt children - up to one-third of U.S. adoptive parents fell into this category in the late 1990s.