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.

Go deeper

The summer of Mars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Three missions from three different nations are heading to Mars in the next month — including one from the United Arab Emirates, a newer player in planetary exploration that is expected to launch its first spacecraft to the Red Planet this evening.

Why it matters: More nations are now going to space as the costs of launch and development are driven down. Mars is a step farther that is reserved for those with the most ability and resources — missions to the planet are a mark of scientific and technical prowess on the global stage.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 13,113,181 — Total deaths: 573,288 — Total recoveries — 7,268,022Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 3,364,547— Total deaths: 135,615 — Total recoveries: 1,031,939 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing again.
  4. States: Houston mayor proposes two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans fear return to school


Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±7% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most U.S. parents say it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall — including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans — in this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that don't reopen. The new findings suggest that this pressure campaign could backfire with many of the voters to whom Trump is trying to appeal ahead of the election.