According to preliminary statistics from the Swedish Intercountry Adoptions Authority, 765 children were adopted from abroad by Swedes last year. That compares to 941 children in 2005.
“There have not been so few for ten years,” said the authority’s director Meit Camving to Dagens Nyheter.
One of the reasons is that the demand for adoptive children has increased in other countries, such as Italy, France and the US.
But another factor is that economic and social changes in the countries from which the children are traditionally adopted are leading to fewer beoing given up for adoption. It is becoming easier for single parents to keep their children and domestic adoptions are increasing, reported DN.
As The Local reported in December, China is to introduce far tougher restrictions on who can adopt Chinese children. The move will affect Sweden significantly – some 350 Chinese children were adopted by Swedes last year.
The new rules will come into force on May 1st 2007 and the reason is that the Chinese authorities want to give children access to “better families and conditions for being brought up, according to China’s standpoint”.
“There’s not really much we can do about it – China decides its rules and if we protest then they’ll say ‘adopt from another country’,” Inga Näslund of the Adoption Centre told The Local.
Adoption organisations in Sweden agree that people in queues to adopt children should expect longer waiting times in future, according to DN.