Resources for Learning More about International Adoption

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Country by country:
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    the world

Site map: adoption

Our work:

Corruption in international adoptions

  Orphaned or Stolen?
The U.S. State Dept.
  investigates adoption
  from Nepal, 2006-2008

"Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis,", September 12, 2010

"The Baby Business," Democracy Journal, Summer 2010

"The Lie We Love," Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008




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In related news

Country by country: adoption corruption reports from around the world:

Student Research Assistants' Contributions

Photo © Papuga2006

Government Sources

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Click to follow link Intercountry adoption statistics

Government sources

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United States
United Nations


Citizenship and Immigration Canada> International Adoption

Information about intercountry adoptions to Canada.


France-Diplomatie > Les Français et l’étranger > Conseils aux familles > Adoption Internationale   

Information about intercountry adoptions to France.


Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri> Commissione per le Adozioni Internazionali     

Information about intercountry adoptions to Italy


Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores
Dirección General de Asuntos Consulares y Protección de los Españoles en el Extranjero
C/ General Pardiñas, 55
28071 MADRID
tel.: +34 (91) 379-1700 / 379-1610
fax: +34 (91) 578-0433
Politica Social > Familias e infancia > Ministerio de Sanidad y Politica Social

Information about intercountry adoptions to Spain.


Switzerland’s Official Web Portal> Your Life> International Adoption

Information about intercountry adoptions to Switzerland.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Department for Children, Schools, and Families> Intercountry Adoption

Information about intercountry adoptions to the U.K. Includes factsheets about popular sending countries and statistics.

"International Adoption: Respecting Children’s Rights," Report of Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, Council of Europe, Doc. 8592, Dec. 2, 1999.     

This position paper of the Council of Europe includes: “The purpose of international adoption must be to provide children with a mother and a father in a way that respects their rights, not to enable foreign parents to satisfy their wish for a child at any price. The Assembly condemns the current transformation of international adoption into what is nothing short of a market regulated by capitalist laws of supply and demand.” 

 The United States

 United States Department of State> Office of Children’s Issues> Intercountry Adoption Home

Website provides detailed information about adoption from specific countries; news and alerts; statistical data about international adoptions; and information about the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. View their overview of the Hague Convention.

State Department Adoption Alerts & Notices
Statistics: Total Adoptions to the U.S., FY2009

If you can provide web addresses for any other countries’ intercountry adoption sites, please email us.

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United Nations

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is mandated by the UN to work for children's rights, their survival, development and protection, guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Releases related to orphans and adoption include:

“UNICEF believes that all decisions relating to children, including adoptions, should be made with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration.” Outlines UNICEF’s approach to holding the child’s welfare paramount.

Explains UNICEF’s unusual definition of the term “orphan.” “Of the more than 132 million children classified as orphans, only 13 million have lost both parents. Evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of orphans are living with a surviving parent, grandparent, or other family member. 95% of all orphans are over the age of 5.”

An examination of child mortality and child health statistics around the world, including statistics about orphans.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), July 2004.

UNICEF and Terre des Hommes Foundation

Report concludes that many children living in Nepal’s orphanages, children’s homes, and other institutions are deprived of basic rights. Most children in institutions surveyed have living relatives from whom they have been separated. Reports on abuses, including kidnapping and baby-buying, coercion of parents, bribery, and trafficking.

More UN Publications

The United Nations Mission in Liberia found in 2007 that, despite a lack of government accreditation, some orphanages were still operating as a for-profit venture and putting children at risk. (See page 8 for information about problems in Liberian orphanages.)

Reports on widespread child buying, coercion, and kidnapping of children for adoption. Includes allegations that some hospital staff members were defrauding new mothers out of their babies, and that other “child finders” were contracting with women to bear a series of children specifically to be sold for international adoption.

Addresses intercountry adoption as a form of child trafficking; calls for all parties’ adherence to international law in adoption, specifically the Hague Convention.

Hague Conference on Private International Law

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Intercountry Adoption Statistics

U.S. Department of State Intercountry adoption statistics 

The Department of State provides statistical information about the number of Immigrant Visas issued to orphans dating back to 1990.

Department of Homeland Security Statistics

The United States Department of Homeland Security Immigration Unit publishes annual immigration statistics.   

Australian InterCountry Adoption Network Statistics

The Australian InterCountry Adoption Network (AICAN), founded in 1990, is the national network of 14 non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in intercountry adoption. AICAN maintains comprehensive worldwide adoption statistics, organized by: Orphan’s Country of Origin and by Receiving Country. NOTE: According to Peter Selman, AICAN does not include all of the most current data.

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Please email us if you have suggestions for this list.

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NOTE: This page from the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism website offers documentation of and background about serious irregularities in international adoption. For the systemic analysis of corruption in international adoption, please read “The Lie We Love,” Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008, and visit our webpages dedicated to international adoption. For ideas about fairer policy solutions, please read “The Baby Business,” Democracy Journal, Summer 2010.

© 2008-2011 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454. All rights reserved.

Last page update: February 23, 2011