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.

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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.

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