Adoption Triad

July 15, 2014

View past editions of Adoption Triad


This edition of Adoption Triad focuses on intercountry adoption. Adoption to and from other countries has changed dramatically over the last three decades. More recently, the total number of children adopted from other countries by U.S. citizens grew to a high of 22,991 in 2004 and then dramatically decreased to 7,094 children in 2013 (U.S. Department of State, 2014). In April 2008, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention) went into force in the United States. Since then, some agencies that primarily survived on intercountry adoptions have closed their doors, consolidated with other agencies, or branched out to provide other services such as foster care. Increasingly, the children being adopted internationally are older children with special needs rather than infants. Some adoptive parents choose intercountry adoption in order to avoid interacting with birth parents directly. However, in the age of the Internet, intercountry adoptions are increasingly opening to birth family contacts, and adoptees are sometimes reuniting with birth parents across the globe. Find current research and resources below related to intercountry adoption.

  1. Explore the U.S. Department of State's web resources on Intercountry Adoption, including information on the recently enacted Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) (P.L. 112-276). The Universal Accreditation Act requires that, as of July 14, 2014, all agencies or persons providing any of the six specific intercountry adoption services defined in the accreditation regulations of the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-279) must be accredited or approved to the standards set forth in the Hague Convention, regardless of whether the adoption will fall under the Convention or the orphan (non-Convention) process.
  2. Explore and participate in blogs and forums where families talk about intercountry adoption to gain insight into families' needs and questions. You can also find resources to share with families in two of Child Welfare Information Gateway's web sections for families on intercountry adoption:
  3. Read the Donaldson Adoption Institute's recently published report that includes research about changes in intercountry adoption, and look for two updated Information Gateway factsheets for families that incorporate the most recent research and information on intercountry adoption:


Phyllis Charles
Child Welfare Program Manager - Adoption
Child Welfare Information Gateway

Adoption Triad is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It provides adoption professionals with practical information to help them identify, recruit, train, and retain families for children and youth, and provides resources on all aspects of adoption for members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adopted people, and adoptive parents.


Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at

Adoption Triad ACF Footer