Intercountry adoption is the adoption of a child native to one country by citizens and/or residents of another country and the subsequent removal of the child from his native country to the second country. The Adoption and Dependent Care Committee recognizes that such procedures are fraught with problems for the countries involved and for the members of the traditional adoption triad–adoptee, birth parents, and adoptive parents. The motivation of adoptive parents, the country of origin, and the country of destination have all been challenged.
The motivation of parents seeking to adopt children from other countries should be examined, as should the motivation of any prospective adoptive parents. Specific attention should be paid to those who see such adoptions as expiation for perceived sins committed against the child's native country. Although such reasoning may sound admirable, it does not provide a sound foundation for beginning a parent-child relationship.
The Committee supports efforts to improve the situations of all children: that is, each child should have a permanent nurturing home and a family, preferably his biologic family in his native country. International assistance should first support services that strengthen the biologic family and child welfare services within the native country. In addition to this assistance, there are occasions in which the interest of the child may be met by intercountry adoption.
Many factors have contributed to the increasing number of intercountry adoptions by natives of the United States (current rate is approximately 6,000 per year). In the United States, the declining birth rate and the increasing tendency of unmarried mothers to keep their infants rather than giving them up for adoption, have led to shortages of healthy infants for prospective adoptive parents.
- Copyright © 1981 by the American Academy of Pediatrics