BEIJING - Of the 8,619 children adopted by American families last year, including kids from more than 40 countries, more than 30% came from China, Caixin media reports, citing data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Because of toughened regulations, 885 fewer children overall were adopted internationally by Americans compared with 2011, according to Caixin media. But the number of adopted Chinese, 2709, has increased to account for 31% of U.S. international adoptions.
The report pointed out both that China is America's largest international source for adoptions, while America is the principal destination for Chinese orphans who wind up abroad. Between 1999 and 2012, some 82,000 Chinese children were adopted by American families. In the peak year, 2005, the number of Chinese infants adopted reached over 7900, meaning one out of every three adoptee was from China.
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China, Ethiopia and Russia are the three major sources of children for adoption by the United States. However, last December, Russia signed the anti-Magnitsky Act as a response to the U.S. signature of the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russia over human rights issues. It's expected that the number of Chinese adoptions may rise again now that the anti-Magnitsky Act prohibits the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
The Caixin report also mentions the significant gender gap in adoptions from China: 68% of those adopted are girls. Only India and China showed such an abnormally high percentage of girl orphans, though India only places around 100 children in America each year. China's one-child-per-family policy contributes to the grim situation of abandoned baby girls.
According to the U.S. State Department's Office of Children's Issues, in 2012 the adoption process for of a Chinese child cost on average around $15,000. The complete adoption formalities cycle takes up to nine months, which places China roughly in the middle among all source countries.
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