2009 intercountry adoption statistics: Canada shortchanges the Hague Conference

(Aug. 11, 2010)    Canada made a poor showing at The Hague in June this year, producing only partial statistics on international adoptions in 2009. Canada gave federal data to only Sept. 2009, and supplied numbers for only four provinces.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law had called a Special Commission on intercountry adoption June 17-25, 2010 in The Hague. (See the June 28 news release, a pdf.)

It invited 85 countries for a review of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The delegates discussed the abduction, sale and traffic in children through intercountry adoption, drafted a guide to good practice in accrediting adoption bodies, and strengthened safeguards against abuses following natural disasters.

To prepare for the Special Commission each country was to send, by May 14, its statistics for 2005-2009 using the form on the Hague Conference website.

The resulting adoption statistics for many countries, up to 2009, are pdf files at Annual Adoption Statistics.

Canada's contribution, however, "Annual adoption statistics 2005-2009", fell short. The federal government (that is, Intercountry Adoption Services, in Human Resources and Social Development Canada) supplied partial figures. As for the ten provinces, only four—B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan—fulfilled the Hague request.

Here is a summary of the Canadian statistics. (For 2008 and earlier, see International statistics for Canada.)


Statistics extend to only Sept. 2009 and so are incomplete at this time. For the period Jan.-Sept. 2009 Canada reported 1,591 intercountry adoptions. China led the list with 322 adoptions to Canada. (In 2008, 1,908 children from abroad found adoptive homes in Canada.)


Alberta's fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31. Statistics for the 2009 year (Apr. 1, 2009 to Mar. 31, 2010) were not available.

British Columbia—2009

Total number of intercountry adoptions: 270  (2008: 271)
Total number of domestic adoptions: 362  (2008: 360)
Total number of adoptions: 632

Among the 270 intercountry adoptions to B.C. in 2009, the leading countries were:

U.S. 46

China 44

Vietnam 40

Ethiopia 25

Philippines 25

India 24

Haiti 9

Thailand 9

South Korea 7


Total number of intercountry adoptions: 310 (plus 31 relative or step-parent adoptions from abroad)   (2008: 377)
Total number of domestic adoptions: 1,020  (2008: 1,223)
Total number of adoptions: 1,330 (plus 31 relative or step-parent adoptions from abroad)

Ontario's top sending countries in 2009 were:

China 69

Russia 54

Ethiopia 23

South Korea 23

Philippines 21

Vietnam 21

U.S. 16

Ukraine 13

India 11

Jamaica 9


Total number of intercountry adoptions: 470  (2008: 397)
Total number of domestic adoptions: not available
Total number of adoptions:

Quebec had more international adoptions than any other province. The leading countries in 2009 were:

China 151

Vietnam 84

Haiti 56

South Korea 41

Ukraine 33

Colombia 28

Kazakhstan 18

Taiwan 8

Thailand 8

Philippines 7

D.R. Congo 7


(Saskatchewan says these figures cover its fiscal year ending March 31. It doesn't say so, but I assume this means Apr. 1, 2009 to Mar. 31, 2010.)

Total number of intercountry adoptions: 47  (2008: 16)
Total number of domestic adoptions: 104  (2008: 71)
Total number of adoptions: 151

The 47 intercountry adoptions to Saskatchewan break down as follows:

Haiti 10

China 8

Ethiopia 8

Philippines 7

Brazil 3

South Africa 3

Jamaica 2

St-Vincent 2

U.S. 2

Ivory Coast 1

Pakistan 1

The Hague Convention

The 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is designed to protect the rights of internationally adopted children, their birth parents and the adoptive parents from corruption or illegal practices. Its procedures have two basic goals: (1) consider the best interests of children in each intercountry adoption; and (2) prevent abduction, exploitation, sale or trafficking of children.
Thanks for the tip to Bruno Turquet de la Boisserie at the wiki of l'Association Coeur Adoption.
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