Rates of international adoptions have decreased dramatically in recent years. According to the Associated Press, Americans adopted 7,094 children from other countries in the 2013 fiscal year, the lowest number of international adoptions since 1992.
The year 2004 held a record of 22,884 adoptions, almost two-thirds higher than current rates.
Executive director of programs at American World Adoption Ryan Hanlon told the Christian Post that part of the issue is Russia’s ban on international adoption. But there are other factors contributing to the problem as well.
"There's been a decrease since 2004, and it's been systematic and it's been going down very sharply," said Hanlon. "I do think a big part of that is the failed role of the Department of State to work in cooperation with other nations."
Hanlon explained that while an important issue, the State Department has focused too much on the prevention of fraudulent adoptions. “They have neglected to encourage and support potential adoptive families and adoptees," he said.
It is a concern that the international rates will remain low in 2014 if no changes are made. "We're already halfway into the next year and I think things are only going to look worse when we see the 2014 numbers,” Hanlon said.