The U.S. State Department has issued its FY 2022 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption: Report of the Activities of the United States Central Authority under The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
The report includes a discussion of the countries that the Office of Children’s Issues (CI) has visited or been in contact with, an overview of the situation in Ukraine, and tables of data.
The report contains no information on nor mention of the deportation of international adoptees from the United States, nor of the need for citizenship for all international adoptees. Nor is there any reference to international birth/first parents as participants in any calls, town halls, policy meetings, or any other place at the table.
There are two mentions of engagement with adult international adoptees, one in a town hall and one at a Special Commission event which is held every five years, “primarily focused on illicit practices and post-adoption services. Nearly 400 people participated in the Special Commission, including 73 member states, observers from non-governmental organizations, and adult adoptees.” The number of adult adoptees is not specified.
There is no mention of the fraud and corruption that many adoptees and adoptive families have encountered post-adoption, often in the course of search and reunion efforts. There is no mention of South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s review of possible fraudulent adoptions from South Korea to Denmark and several other countries, including the U.S. Nor is there any mention of the government inquiries into fraudulent international adoptions by Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, Chile, and elsewhere.
Some highlights from the U.S. report:
Total adoptions in FY2022 to the U.S. : 1517
Top countries of origin:
- Colombia 235 children
- India 223 children
- Republic of Korea 141children
- Bulgaria 84 children
- Ukraine. 82 children
Number of U.S. Children Adopted Internationally: 25 (The U.S. children were adopted to Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.)
Median Adoption Service Provider (Adoption Agency) Fees:
Over US$50,000 for adoptions from Albania and Armenia
Between US$40,000 and US$50,000 for adoptions from Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Colombia, Costs Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Hait, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar Peru, Poland, South Africa, and Vietnam.
This means, for example, that U.S. adoptive parents paid US$9.6 million in adoption agency fees for children from Colombia; US$1.2 million for children from Burundi; and US$3.8 million for children from Haiti.
The role of money in adoption is horrifically complex. The U.S. adoptive parents are likely all eligible for the adoption tax credit, which has reimbursed adoptive parents with literally billions of dollars.
The role of money in adoption deserves much more research, attention, and conversation.
And this report deserves that as well, as much for what it says as for what it does not say. Feel free to share your thoughts about it.