New State Department data reveals that Americans adopted the lowest number of foreign children in 2014 since 1982, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the report, Americans seeking to adopt from foreign countries has remained consistent, but the number of people successfully adopting children has steadily declined over the last 10 years. Fiscal year 2014 ended with 6,441 international adoptions by Americans, about one fourth of the 23,000 adoptions in 2004.
Some couples have been waiting as long as eight years to adopt a child. Adoption agencies say that Americans are eager to adopt and that there are hundreds of thousands of international children waiting for families, the Journal reports.
The rapid decline can be attributed to several different trends, according to the Journal. China has been the top source of American foreign adoptions for many years, but has begun implementing stricter restrictions for adoption applicants. It is also encouraging domestic adoptions instead.
Countries like Ethiopia have begun promoting domestic foster care and adoption. In 2013, Russia banned adoptions to the U.S. amid backlash from its invasion of Crimea in Ukraine.