Although few prospective parents consider adopting a child with HIV, there are many such children in need, and the experience of adopting HIV-positive children can change the lives of all of those involved. With the lifting of the HIV travel ban, bringing HIV-positive children to the United States from other countries has become easier, and there are also HIV-positive children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted.
By the end of this year, an estimated 25 million children around the world will have lost one or both parents to AIDS, including thousands of children in the U.S. At the end of 2008, nearly 2.1 million children were living with HIV worldwide. With the current economic recession, children affected by HIV now need more help than ever.
International Adoption Rates Are Dropping
Although there is little data available on adoption of HIV-positive children, comparisons of overall international adoption numbers suggest rates are dropping.
According to the U.S. Department of State, the number of international adoptions into the U.S. has been decreasing steadily since 2004, with a total of 12,753 adoptions occurring in 2009 compared to a high of 22,990 in 2004.
From 2005 to 2009, the top four countries from which children were adopted were China, Russia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia, three of which have relatively low adult prevalence rates for HIV/AIDS. Ethiopia’s prevalence rate, the highest of the four at 2 percent, is still fairly low compared to many African nations.
In India, recent reports have claimed that adoption centers were unable to find families willing to adopt HIV-positive children, and as a result, no HIV-positive children were adopted in India from 2008 to 2009.
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