Let's be clear up front, President Trump does not want this and took action early on in his administration to avoid it. Nonetheless, his State Department has begun to impose requirements on adoption agencies that will drive up the costs so much for adoption agencies that many will be forced to stop offering international adoptions. Why? According to people inside the State Department, they believe there are too many adoption agencies.
The Federalist has a very detailed write up on this. The State Department drafted regulations during the Obama Administration that would drastically increase the costs of adoptions, but President Trump rescinded those. Undeterred, the State Department has decided to still demand all the oversight requirements that those rescinded regulations would have imposed.
Already, the State Department has unilaterally changed one particular policy, with devastating consequences for special-needs adoptions. On Feb. 13, in an obscure footnote on a “FAQ” page, the State Department dropped this sentence: “The Department notes that a ‘soft referral’ is not acceptable practice under the regulations and may lead to adverse action.”
In plain English, that means adoption agencies might no longer be allowed to seek parents for children with special needs by publishing their photos. This lets parents pursue the adoption of a particular child while they complete their home study, and it’s often the motivation families need to undertake the expensive and invasive process. Rather than just an abstract “special needs adoption,” they have a goal with a human face. China in particular uses this practice to recruit adoptive families for its many abandoned children with disabilities.
“There were 2,000 kids from China who came home last year through their waiting child list. No more,” says Robin Sizemore. It has been a remarkably effective way to find families for children who would otherwise grow up in orphanages.
This is really outrageous conduct by the State Department and hopefully President Trump and Mike Pompeo will shut it down.