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Domestic adoptions are back to the same level they were before the financial crisis, but adoptions of children from foreign countries continued to decline in 2017 — down from 22,989 adoptions in 2004 to 4,714 in 2017.

Expand chart
Data: Department Of Health & Human Services, Department of State; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Between the lines: This drop comes mostly due to changes in policy in Russia, China and the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past several years, where a majority of international kids adopted by the U.S. come from.

Yes, but: 98% of international adoptions from China have involved children with special needs but policy changes, not directly related to adoption, has impacted U.S. adoption providers who sought to find a better home for these children, according to a spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

  • The Democratic Republic of Congo, meanwhile, resolved a backlog of exit permits, which led to a drop from 359 adoptions in 2016 to 26 in 2017.
  • In 2012, Russia banned adoptions by Americans following the death of a Russia-born 2-year-old who was locked in a hot car by his adoptive father in 2008.

Go deeper

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."