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International adoptions are declining

International adoptions are becoming rarer and rarer. At first, you may think this is great news because that must mean there are fewer orphans. Unfortunately, the decline is more associated with countries' growing reticence about sending their children abroad. China and Russia, the two largest source countries for international infant adoption promulgated regulations to stem (in some cases halt) the international adoption process. China, Russia and many other countries are responding to popular opinion which says that their home countries should be able to care for their own children.

In 2004, the peak for international adoptions, the United States adopted 22,884 children. But those numbers fell to 8,668 in 2012. In fact, the 23 nations that adopt the most international children saw a drop from 45,299 in 2004 to 23,626 in 2011.

But, ever since that high, donor countries adopted a series of increasingly stringent regulations. For example, China prohibits single people from adopting children, except those with special needs, prohibit adoptions by families over 50 and single adopters must sign an affidavit that they are heterosexual. The restrictions continue, including income and asset requirements, mental health checks and divorce checks.

Adopting is a complicated undertaking. There are multiple ins and outs, from international to domestic and from teenager to infant. If you would like to undertake an adoption, you may want to speak with an attorney. A lawyer can apprise you of the various options to adopt and their corresponding requirements. The adoption process is lengthy and complicated but ultimately rewarding. Don't let the process stop you; a lawyer can help.