International adoption can be a mysterious enterprise. From the various regulations that are determined by each individual country, to the language and governmental differences, it can seem like an overwhelming, and sometimes looming, vast hole of the unknown. Yet, if you feel called to adopt overseas, or have found your child on an advocacy site and they happen to be from another country, these statistics may answer some interesting questions while you embark on your own journey. (travel.state.gov)
1. In 2016, there were 5,370 international adoptions. The total amount of international adoptions has decreased every year since 2004. In that year, the United States had completed almost 23,000 international adoptions. (travel.state.gov)
2. History has shown that female children tend to account for the majority of international adoptions, except for the most recent statistics found in 2016, where male children surpassed the females, 51.6% to 48.4%. (travel.state.gov)
3. Statistics have shown that adoptive families have pursued younger children in the past, the majority of children adopted internationally being under the age of 2. But, with what was most likely some shifts in country regulations, the majority of children adopted internationally in 2016 were between the ages of 5 and 12, making up 38% of completed adoptions for that year. (travel.state.gov)
4. While China has reigned as the top country to adopt from for the past couple years, hitting its peak in 2005 with almost 8,000 completed adoptions, it is suspected that the country will fall from the number one spot after the new restrictions on adoptive families were passed in 2017. (travel.state.gov)
5. As of 2016, it has been estimated that there are at least 140 million orphans worldwide. (unicef.org)
Those numbers can not only be shocking and eye opening, but they can really shed light onto the growing problem within the international adoption community – each year, there is a growing orphan population but a shrinking adoptive family population. Hopefully, things can turn around and those families that have been considering adoption will step out in faith and pursue adoption. Every child needs a family, no matter where they are from.