August 28, 2014 6:59 AM EDT

Then total adoptions into the U.S. in 1999 15,720

Created in 1993–but not fully implemented in the U.S. until 2008–the Hague Adoption Convention sets guidelines for safe adoptions between nations. Nevertheless, the U.S. State Department doesn’t accept adoptions from some participating countries because of concerns about unscrupulous practices.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see your hard copy for actual chart.]

RUSSIA 4,381

SOUTH KOREA 1,994

COLOMBIA 231

INDIA 472

COLOMBIA 159

ETHIOPIA 993

NIGERIA 183

RUSSIA 250

THE REST OF THE WORLD 858 (FROM 71 COUNTRIES)

HAITI 388

UKRAINE 438

CHINA 4,108

GUATEMALA 1,002

VIETNAM 709

ROMANIA 611

UKRAINE 321

THE PHILIPPINES 194

161

125

MEXICO CAMBODIA 136

98

HAITI POLAND BULGARIA 96

THE REST OF THE WORLD 1,081 (FROM 76 COUNTRIES)

CHINA 2,306

CONGO 311

UGANDA 276

138

119

TAIWAN INDIA SOUTH KOREA 94

178

GHANA 170

BULGARIA 160

THE PHILIPPINES

NOW TOTAL ADOPTIONS INTO THE U.S. IN 2013 7,021

Adoptions into the U.S. have dropped 55% in the past 15 years, partially because provider nations like China and South Korea have tightened rules. Russia banned adoption by American citizens in 2012 (reportedly as political retribution), while Guatemala halted international adoptions in 2008 after allegations of baby buying, resulting in overflowing orphanages.

SOURCES: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE; ADOPTION QUARTERLY; THE SCHUSTER INSTITUTE FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM; CNN

This appears in the September 08, 2014 issue of TIME.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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