Article about British politician David Miliband adopting two children from the U.S. His wife is an American citizen. Various news reports suggest Miliband adopted from the U.S. because the process is easier than in the UK and newborns are available.
The State Department reports that for 2009, 12,753 children immigrated to the U.S. with adoptions finalized overseas or to be adopted. I suspect this does not include children who immigrated under humanitarian parole. A majority of the kids from Ethiopia, India, the Philippines and South Korea immigrated without finalized adoptions. Ethiopia had 2,105 kids with unfinalized adoptions and 164 with finalized adoptions. India’s numbers were 276 and 21. Philippines-227 and 53. South Korea had 1,077 unfinalized adoptions and two finalized.
Overall, children with unfinalized adoptions represented 37.3 percent of all adoptions. When I ran the 2007 numbers, it was 29.7 percent. I’d guess the increase is due to the change in popularity of a specific country, most likely Ethiopia.
This suggests that citizenship may be a significant issue for children from these countries, since children who immigrate without finalized adoptions do not receive automatic citizenship. Additionally, the large number of children who immigrated from Haiti with humanitarian parole are also at risk.
I’ve seen estimates that suggest around 500 U.S. children are adopted every year by citizens of another country. This is a very difficult number to track and the 2009 report is the first time I recall seeing figures. The report states, “From October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009 26 children emigrated from the United States for the purposes of adoption.” (See the Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report at adoption dot state dot gov.)