Developments in U.S. Intercountry Adoption Policy since Its Peak in 2004

Sarah Elizabeth Neville & Karen Smith Rotabi - Adoption Quarterly


This paper examines the implications of recent developments in U.S. intercountry adoption (ICA) policy for vulnerable children. We review policy and practices from 2004-2018, including (1) the 2008 implementation of the Hague Convention and (2) the 2017 changes in Hague accrediting entities for adoption agencies. By analyzing the ICA contexts of the top five States of origin, we argue the decline in ICA is from factors within States of origin rather than U.S. policy. Though ICA benefits individual children’s development, it can cause harm at a systems level, so the decline in ICA has mixed implications for vulnerable children.