The Department of State is pleased to announce the release of the 2011 Annual Adoption Report to Congress, which coincides with National Adoption Month. This year, we welcomed Kazakhstan and Ireland as new parties to the Hague Adoption Convention. The Convention provides the best framework for ethical, transparent intercountry adoptions and ensures that adoptions are conducted in the best interest of children.
In fiscal year 2011, the Department of State issued more than 9,300 immigrant visas to children adopted by U.S. citizen parents. More than 2,700 of these immigrant visas were issued under the Hague Adoption Convention.
The Secretary’s Special Advisor for International Children’s Issues, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, has traveled to more than 15 countries this year, most recently to Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Ethiopia, to promote ethical intercountry adoptions and the Hague Adoption Convention. The Department recognizes that intercountry adoption can provide a permanent home to a child who would otherwise be without a family. At the same time, the Department continues to support strong safeguards to prevent the abduction or exploitation of children for the purpose of adoption.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs Office of Children’s Issues prepared this annual report for Congress in compliance with the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000. The 2011 report can be viewed online at adoption.state.gov. Please visit the website for more information on intercountry adoption. To view a video message on National Adoption Month from Ambassador Susan Jacobs, please visit http://adoption.state.gov/about_us/video/national_adoptions_month.php.
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