The 2000 U.S. census was the first to gather adoption statistics and included a category about children where “adopted son/daughter” was separate from “natural born son/daughter’ or “stepson/daughter” and included categories of types of adoption.
During this time, adoptions were on the decline in our country; multiple factors played and continue to play a role in this decline. Women who delay childbearing until later in life also leads to decreased chances of natural conception. Medical advances in infertility treatments also led to the decline in the number of infant adoptions, as more women and couples could become birth parents with the aid of reproductive technology. Additionally, unwed mothers were now choosing to become single parents instead of placing their children for adoption, and society became much more accepting of unwed mothers, which led to a decrease in the number of domestic born infants available for adoption. Another contributing factor to overall adoption rates in America are international countries and their policies about international adoptions.
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows for children born outside of the U.S. and adopted by U.S. citizens to automatically become citizens when they enter this country. This law hugely influenced the adoption of international children by Americans, because the need for families to deal with naturalization processes for their adopted children was eliminated. With multiculturalisms’ growing approval in our country, international adoption has become more prevalent in recent decades. Some parents adopt internationally for humanitarian reasons and others as a substitute for domestic infant adoption. The policies and practices of adoption in foreign countries have also affected the adoption rate in our county by expanding or limiting the number of available children for adoption in the foreign countries.