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American parents look to Ghana for adoptions

Madonna isn’t the only American looking to adopt African children. Adoptions of Ghanaian children by American parents are rising — to 101 last year, ranking it 17th highest overall and fourth in Africa. Ethiopia was tops in Africa and fourth overall with 1,725 adoptions. Liberia and Nigeria are slightly higher than Ghana, according to U.S. government statistics for fiscal year 2008.

The big news, however, is that foreign adoptions by Americans hit a nine-year low in 2008 with 17,438, representing a 24 percent drop since the peak year 2004. The economy explains part of the slowdown, but the main reason is tighter oversight in China and Russia. Adoptions from China fell by about half over the past four years to 3,909 last year. There’s been a nearly two-thirds decline in Russia since 2004.

Madonna recently lost a bid to adopt a second child from Malawi. The pop star adopted a boy three years ago and is appealing a court’s decision to stop her from adopting a girl. Just two Malawian children were adopted by Americans last year.