The slowdown affecting adoptions from China coincides with unrelated complications in several other countries that have been major sources of adopted children for American parents. Some examples:

_GUATEMALA: Irregularities and suspected fraud have cast a cloud of uncertainty over many of the 2,900 pending U.S. adoptions from Guatemala, which is the second-largest source of adopted children — after China — for the United States. The State Department on April 1 advised potential adoptive parents not to initiate new adoptions from Guatemala.

_RUSSIA: Laws affecting adoptions by foreigners have become stricter, while Russia has been trying to expand domestic adoption. Last year, 2,310 Russian children were adopted by Americans, down from a peak of 5,865 in 2004.

_VIETNAM: Renewed U.S. concern about possible baby selling, fraud and corruption — the same fears that led to suspension of Vietnamese adoptions from 2003 to 2005 — are again holding up visas for some babies adopted in Vietnam. The U.S. embassy has confirmed more than a dozen problematic cases, and Vietnamese adoption officials have said roughly 20 American families are affected.

_KAZAKHSTAN: Officials of Kazakhstan, the eighth-largest supplier of adopted children to the U.S. in 2007, informed the State Department last month that it was reviewing its adoption process and would suspend its normal handling of applications during the review.

SOURCE: Associated Press