5 Cornell J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 33 (1995-1996)
Improving the Safety and Efficiency of Foreign Adoptions: U.S. Domestic Adoption Programs and Adoption Programs in Other Countries Provide Lessons for INS Reform

handle is hein.journals/cjlpp5 and id is 37 raw text is: IMPROVING THE SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY OF
FOREIGN ADOPTIONS:
U.S. DOMESTIC ADOPTION PROGRAMS AND
ADOPTION PROGRAMS IN OTHER COUNTRIES
PROVIDE LESSONS FOR INS REFORM
I. INTRODUCTION
Intercountry adoption (ICA) is the adoption of a child of one national-
ity by a parent or parents of another. From 1968-1986, the number of ICAs
grew steadily at a rate of 11% per year, reaching about 10,000 in 1986. That
number has leveled in the past decade to just over 9,000 in 1991, and 8,200
in 1994.1 As China and Russia (two major sources of adoptees or sending
countries) open their doors to foreign adoptions, however, the numbers are
likely to increase.2
Interest in ICAs has grown considerably in the last twenty years.
While earlier in this century most adoptions were motivated by the desire to
help a child out of a tragic situation, many couples in the 1990's look to
adoption as a way to start a family.3 A rising infertility rate and an increased
acceptance of single mothers have contributed to the growing demand for
foreign adoptions. In addition, many adoption agencies have responded to the
shortage of domestic babies by limiting their services to married couples
without children.4 This move has drastically restricted domestic adoption as
an option to prospective parents who are single, older, or already have a
family.
Today, there are many needy foreign children and loving prospective
parents for whom adoption would be a positive step. Yet, against this
backdrop, Table I demonstrates that the number of ICAs has stagnated in the
past five years. One reason for this stagnation is that many sending countries
'1993 STAT. Y.B. (Immigration and Naturalization Service) 32, 51 (1994) [hereinafter
1993 INS Statistical Yearbook]. The 1994 statistic is a preliminary figure. Telephone
Interview with Michael Hoefner, Immigration and Naturalization Service (Apr. 3, 1995)
[hereinafter Hoefier Interview].
2 Telephone Interview with Mark Eckman, Staff Attorney, Datz Foundation (Apr. 3, 1995)
[hereinafter Eckman Interview].
3 Mary C. Hester, Comment, Intercountry Adoption from a Louisiana Perspective, 53 LA.
L. Rv. 1271, 1272 (1993).
4 Susann M. Bisignaro, Comment, Intercountry Adoption Today and the Implications of
the 1993 Hague Convention on Tomorrow, 13 DICK. J. INT'LL. 123, 124 (1994).

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