The practice of international adoption by the American citizens began right after World War II. From that time on, the number of children adopted from other countries only increased so that at the present moment the US adopts more foreign children than any other country in the world. Countries of Europe try to encourage this practice as well to provide future for more children from around the world. Throughout history, incentives for adopting foreign children changed alongside with ethnic groups popular among adoptive families.
In the 1940s, Western countries treated international adoption as a way to decrease the number of orphans. Americans adopted European children whose parents were taken away by war. Many of them were white children which means that parents adopted orphans of the same racial origin. At the same time, a large number of children were adopted from Asia, especially Japan.
By the 1980s, the interest in international adoption shifted as childless couples did their best to build families. In this period, children were adopted from Korea.
Adoption of children from Central and South America started in the 1970s. A decade later, the political upheavals in Eastern and Central Europe made children from Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia available for adoption, and many couples traveled to adopt these kids.
Today, couples adopt children from abroad due to infertility and complicated legislation which makes interstate adoption increasingly difficult. A lot of modern women cannot either become pregnant or carry a child due to their health issues, especially if they are not young. In response, numerous developing countries encourage adoption by foreign parents who can provide a deserving life to these kids.