For 8th straight year, foreign adoptions by Americans decline, even ahead of Russia's new ban

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The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents fell by 7 percent last year, to the lowest level since 1994, and is likely to plunge further this year due to the new ban by Russia on adoptions by Americans.

Figures released Thursday by the State Department for the 2012 fiscal year showed 8,668 adoptions from abroad, down from 9,320 in 2011 and down about 62 percent from the all-time peak of 22,884 in 2004.

As usual, China accounted for the most children adopted in the U.S, with a total of 2,589.

Ethiopia was second, at 1,568, followed by Russia with 748. For this year, the figure from Russia will likely shrink to only a few dozen adoptions that were nearing approval before the ban was enacted last month.