The adoption in France

Some stylized facts on adoption in France, from the article by Catherine Villeneuve-Gokalp, ” adoption in France…by the numbers, and according to the country of origin “, Information sociales, n° 146 2008/2

The number of adoption per year was 4,400 in 1990 and 5,000 in 2003, it has remained stable since. This increase is due solely to international adoption. International adoption has developed in parallel with the decrease of the internal adoption. International adoption represents today 85 % of adoption in France. After the United States, which welcome each year more than 22 000 children, France is, with Spain, the second country in the world by the importance of this type of adoption.

Started in the 1970s in a humanitarian aim in Vietnam, the reception of foreign children has rapidly developed from the 1980s, because of the lower wards of the State. Originating in a dozen countries in 1980, the children are coming today from 72 countries, however, half of the overseas adoptions are carried out in 5 countries and 87 % in 14 countries. In 2006, the most important countries were Vietnam (19 % of adoptions), Haiti (14 %), Ethiopia (10 %), Russia (10 %), Colombia (8 %), China (8 %), and then Madagascar and Mali.

The characteristics of children vary according to their country of birth. Overall, as many girls than boys are adopted, but in the countries of eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Ukraine and especially Russia, the proportion of boys is higher than girls. Two out of three children adopted in Russia are boys. They are also more numerous in Latin America, particularly in Brazil and Colombia. In contrast, in China, 98 % of children are girls, and 66 % in Vietnam.

Like the sex, the age of children who may be adopted varies with the country of origin : nine out of ten children adopted from South Korea, China and Mali have less than 1 year. In Korea, single mothers are often into abandoning their child at birth, and in China, the one-child policy attached to the preference of parents for a son promotes the abandonment of girls. In contrast, only 2 % of children born in Brazil were less than 1 year and more than one in three children has at least 7 years.

Nine adoptions out of ten are made by a couple. When it is a single person, it is almost always a woman, the demand for adoption by a single man being the exception. Single women are two times less represented among the candidates that in the female population of the same age, either because of a desire to have a child less strong than couples, either by refusal to have a child without a father, either by anticipation of difficulties and approaches for singles.

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