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AshLeigh's avatar

Why don't other countries adopt American babies?

Asked by AshLeigh (15889points) November 4th, 2011

Americans always adopt babies from other countries. So why don’t the other countries adopt American babies?

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19 Answers

Luiveton's avatar

I guess it’s a matter of choice, nothing more. I mean, who knows, maybe alot of people we don’t know about adopt American babies.

augustlan's avatar

The adoption process is extremely difficult and expensive in America and seems to be less so in other parts of the world. So it’s easier for Americans to adopt elsewhere, but it would be harder for the reverse. In addition, I would guess that there are more children available to adopt in the first place in the countries Americans typically adopt from.

harple's avatar

In the UK this discussion has been prevalent recently. Interestingly here, to adopt a child from a different country requires you to go through the UK adoption process first, and then the process in the country from which you want to adopt. The main difference, however, is that in these other countries it is possible to adopt a brand new baby, whereas in the UK the baby is almost always a year old by the time they are given to the adopting family. That is a significant reason for people in the UK adopting from elsewhere.

The other most notable reason is that the conditions babies are having to live in in some of these other countries are so dire, that people feel compelled to adopt these babies in most need. There is just no comparison to how well a baby needing adopting in this country will be cared for, compared to those born in certain countries and left with penniless orphanages.

I imagine this latter reasoning, at least, to be a key part of answering your question on American babies.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@augustlan I was under the impression that to adopt from another country, you had to go through the laws of both countries; that Americans have to go through the process twice (something about international law and the Hague…). And, that it might not even be cheaper. But, that you felt extra good, because you were helping out someone who would have had an even worse life than American orphans – for example, getting girls from China.

@harple How are the babies a year old in the UK, but newborn in other countries? What’s going on there?

augustlan's avatar

@Aethelflaed You could be right… I’m definitely no expert on adoption.

harple's avatar

@Aethelflaed I’m not completely au fait with the situation, but I think that when you are paired up with the actual child in the UK that you are going to adopt, the process then still takes about a year. The government here has decided to release league tables to name and shame different authorities across the country to try and boost adoption in the UK… it’s a controversial move.

Aethelflaed's avatar

So, some relevent links:

International vs domestic adoptionsOne very common misconception is the cost difference between international and domestic adoption. It is commonly believed that international adoption costs far less than domestic adoption, however this is not true. The truth is that, while each adoption has its own set of special circumstances which can influence the cost, domestic and international adoption costs are very similar.
One very large legal concern in domestic adoption is the myth that the child’s biological parents may come back years later and take the child back. This is also a common argument against open and semi-open adoptions, as many people are lead to believe that contact with the birth parents will lead to the birth parents’ desire to revoke their consent, even after the adoption is finalized. For this reason, many couples believe that international adoptions are “safer,” due to the fact that there is routinely no contact with the birth parents in international adoptions prior to and after the completion of the adoption.

NPR on the adoption of African American babies by other countries.

And the Wikipedia page is always good.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@harple You always know something’s going to be juicy and delicious when someone tags on “it’s controversial” to an otherwise neutral statement.

zensky's avatar

Every year there is a wild chase for Green Cards – and a raffle of sorts – where fifty thousand are awarded. Note the word: awarded.

I wonder if adopting an American baby would entitle the parents to a green card?

whitetigress's avatar

Other countries do adopt American babies.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@zensky I would imagine that if you have the money and “respectability” to go through the American adoption system and get an American baby, you have the money and respectability to get a green card through more “traditional” channels than the green card lottery.

Hibernate's avatar

Denmark can adopt really easy from the US but they rarely adopt [only when they can’t have kids] and even then they do it from a closer location.

mazingerz88's avatar

Becausey they don’t want babies that are too opinionated. : )

cazzie's avatar

An American Green Card is next to worthless these days to anyone with the ability to successfully adopt and no one in their right mind would adopt a baby to live there. Adopt a baby to save the baby from the lack of health care and education, sure, but not to get themselves a ┬┤Green Card’
’‘Number of U.S. Children Adopted Abroad Not Officially Recorded
While the exact number of U.S. children placed for adoption in other countries is not reliably reported, adoption experts put the number at 500 annually a decade ago.’’


I think it is extremely odd that the number of children adopted out abroad is not kept track of in the US.

keobooks's avatar

I thought the answer was pretty simple. Most of the countries we adopt from have a very high supply of kids but a very low demand. The US has a VERY high demand and a VERY low supply. American babies are swooped up by American parents who wait several years for the opportunity.

Why would Chinese people adopt an American baby? They have really strict laws about how many children they can have (1 in cities, 2 in rural areas) If for some reason a couple couldn’t have their allotted child, they could easily get one in the orphanages that are overflowing.

cazzie's avatar

I saw this today about the world population changes over the last thousand years or so. It shows quite effectively where population growth has occurred.

So.. Asia has the abundance of population growth and little to no social welfare systems in place and rampant poverty.

I have a very good American friend who adopted a beautiful daughter from China. Her daughter had been found on the steps of an orphanage and seemed very well cared for, but the mother who gave birth to her obviously had a very insufficient diet because the little girl’s teeth are needing all sorts of special care. She tried to adopt from Thailand first, specifically, the children that are victims/result of the sex trade there, but the Thai authorities wouldn’t let a single woman adopt. Ironic, eh?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It is a good question. They don’t fetishize American kids the way Americans fetishize theirs.

SpatzieLover's avatar

For the same reasons many Americans don’t adopt American babies. It’s costly and the legal process is a nightmare.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because American demand for adopting American babies exceeds the American supply so to speak. Same in Europe. There are more parents who can’t have their own child who wish for having one.

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