In 2011, there were an estimated 25,000 international adoptions around the world, down from the 45,000 adoptions that took place in 2004. The decline was attributed to a global crackdown on illegal adoptions and baby trafficking.
Police in China reported rescuing 8,660 children and 15,458 women from human trafficking activities in 2011. 3,200 human trafficking gangs were broken up by police in 2011. In addition, Chinese police reported that over 2,000 children were abducted and sold for adoption during the year.
In fiscal year 2008, parents in the United States adopted 4,123 from Guatemala, making the country the number one source of international adoptions in the U.S.
The United States Department of State quoted news reports in China that estimated as many as 20,000 children may be kidnapped every year and put up for adoptions. Most of the children were reported to be adopted within the country.
Unwanted babies are reported to be sold for $4,520 to $6,450 (750,000 to 1 Million Nigerian Naira) to brokers in Nigeria. Many of the women who sell their babies hide their pregnancy from their husbands.
2007 was the last year that parent in the United States could legally adopt children from Guatemala. The practice ended that year due to illegal adoption and child trafficking concerns. Other developed countries previously halted adoptions from Guatemala in 2002.
Between 1999 and 2006, at least 16 children from Longhui County in Southern China were illegally abducted by state officials. The children are believed to have been sold to international adoption agencies.
1,092 Russian children were adopted by US families in 2010, down from over 5,800 adoptions in 2004. Russian officials have claimed that at least 17 Russian children have died due to domestic violence committed by their American families. In total, there are around 250,000 Russian children living in orphanages in Russia.
After the Civil War in Spain in 1936 to 1939, an estimated 30,000 babies were stolen from their parents and sold to parents.
Often, the babies were taken at birth while the mother was told that the baby were stillborn.
In a country in China, government officials paid families $155 for children who were turned over to the welfare agency under the guise of the one child policy. The agency then received $3,000 per child when the child was put up for adoption in the international adoption market.