NEW YORK – The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents fell by 7 percent last year, to the lowest level since 1994, and is likely to plunge further this year due to the new ban by Russia on adoptions by Americans.
Figures released Thursday for the 2012 fiscal year showed 8,668 adoptions from abroad, down from 9,320 in 2011 and down about 62 percent from the all-time high of 22,884 in 2004.
As usual, China accounted for the most children adopted in the U.S. But its total of 2,589 was far below the peak of 7,903 in 2005.
Ethiopia was second, at 1,568, followed by Russia with 748. For the current year, the figure from Russia is likely to shrink to only a few dozen adoptions that were in the final stages of approval before the ban was enacted last month.
The immediate purpose of Russia’s ban was to retaliate for a new U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human-rights violators. But the measure also reflects resentment over the 60,000 Russian children adopted by Americans in the past two decades.