03/31/2015 16:30 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 01:12 EDT

Foreign adoptions by Americans fall by 9 per cent, reach lowest level since 1982

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents dropped by 9 per cent last year to the lowest level since 1982, according to new State Department figures.The department's report for the 2014 fiscal year shows 6,441 adoptions from abroad, down from 7,094 in 2013 and about 74 per cent below the high of 22,884 in 2004. The number has fallen every year since then — a trend that has dismayed many adoption advocates in the U.S.Trish Maskew, chief of the State Department's Adoption Division, said it was difficult to predict when the number of foreign adoptions might start to rise again.As usual, China accounted for the most children adopted in the U.S., but its total of 2,040 was far below the peak of 7,903 in 2005.