The number of children adopted by Icelandic parents from other countries has increased by more than 100% since 2006.
While the adoption of Icelandic children by Icelandic parents is exceedingly rare, Icelanders do adopt children from other countries. The process, however, is quite difficult and often demands a lot of patience from hopeful parents. Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson has been optimistic that soon Russia will be one of the countries Icelanders can more easily adopt children from.
In the meantime, China has been a popular choice, and Morgunblaðið reports that the adoption of children has been rising dramatically in recent years in Iceland.
In the past year, 19 children were adopted by Icelanders, 14 of them from China. The remainder have come from the Czech Republic, Colombia, and India. In 2006, only eight children were adopted.
Hörður Sveinsson, the director of The Icelandic Adoption Society, says that the sudden rise can be attributed to Icelanders adopting special needs children, with conditions ranging from heart disease to cleft palates. Such children are given expedited priority for adoption.
Over one hundred Icelandic couples remain on the waiting list to adopt children.