Russia Ends International Adoption

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow discusses the changing face of international adoptions.

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Recently Russian President Putin ended international adoptions of Russian children, leaving many families hanging. However, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow writes, the number of American adoptions from countries like Russia has been dropping for years, anyway. Many American families are adopting from countries not previously considered, like Ethiopia, thanks to actors such as Angelina Jolie.

As The Associated Press pointed out pointed out in May, "the number of international adoptions has fallen to its lowest point in 15 years, a steep decline attributed largely to crackdowns against baby-selling, a sputtering world economy and efforts by countries to place more children with domestic families."

But as adoptions from some traditional sources have plummeted, those from less-traditional sources have surged. Adoptions of Ethiopian children were nearly nonexistent until the mid-2000s, when, suddenly, the number began to jump. In 2010, there were about 2,500 Ethiopian children adopted by American families. (Those numbers fell some in 2011.)

That may well be the Zahara Jolie-Pitt effect. Angelina Jolie adopted 6-month-old Zahara from Ethiopia in 2005. Jolie's partner, Brad Pitt, soon joined in the adoption.

Read Charles M. Blow's entire piece at the New York Times.

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