Intercountry Adoption

April 13, 2019

Brittany Gay

We have identified several research-oriented professionals who have expertise in intercountry (international) adoption and the quality of orphanages abroad. We are currently in the process of engaging more experts both in and outside of our network.


Main Points

There are several barriers to international adoption

  • Ultimately, a country’s capacity to facilitate child adoptions on an international scale is affected by limited resources and government stability/corruption. The best interest of the child should be prioritized in the adoption process, and that is hard to do if a country lacks systematic data collection and quality controls for adoption agencies and adoptive families. For instance, unethical practices during the adoption process led to a recent decrease of intercountry adoptions of children from Guatemala.
  • Some countries, such as Romania and Ukraine, have created or bolstered their domestic adoption process, reducing the need for intercountry adoption.


Not a lot is known about the accredidation of orphanaged abroad, even amongst research experts in this are. The amount of corruption within a country and the use of meaningful standards of care (e.g., caregiver-child ratios) should be considered when considering accredidation of orphanages. In general, countries are starting to move away from using orphanges.


Key Resources

  • This article discusses the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption the vulnerability of families involved in intercountry adoption.
  • This short report explains possible reasons for the decline in intercountry adoptions.
  • This article discusses the domestic and intercountry adoption rates of several countries.



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