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International Adoption


Many people in North America take off to the other side of the world for an International adoption. Since adopting in the US and Canada presents limitations regarding availability and often means a long wait time, prospective adoptive parents choose International adoption. There are more children available overseas which makes finding a baby much easier.

International adoption is arranged through private agencies mostly. Sometimes foreign adoption can be arranged through non-profit organizations. Choosing International adoption eliminates the individual’s chance to choose a child. This decision is totally in the hands of the agency or organization handling the adoption. International adoptions are much more complicated than private or public adoptions. Since the prospective parents are dealing with foreign countries and their rules and regulations, there are many lawyers involved throughout the process. International adoption involves state or provincial adoption laws, foreign immigration laws, and laws of the country adopting from. This process can also be complicated by the language and cultural barriers surrounding foreign adoption. Because of all the lawyers and various procedures, International adoption can get quite expensive. Adopting from a foreign country usually means travel as well.

International adoption is a lengthily process. It begins with choosing a country to choose from. Popular countries for adoption are China, Russia, Romania, Vietnam, Korea, Guatemala and Columbia. After deciding which country, next the adoptive parents must choose and agency who handles foreign adoption. Many International adoption agencies provide pre- and post-adoptive services, as well as work with more than one country. After these two issues are sorted, the prospective parents must choose a child regarding age, sex, race and health. Most countries individuals can pick the sex of the child however, in China for example, almost all available adoptive children are girls. Depending on the country selected, prospective adoptive parents can be matched with a child from a selection of photos, a selection of applications at the agency or a central registry maintained by the child’s country of origin.

One of the biggest concerns with International adoption is the expense. Adopting from a foreign country can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. Prospective adoptive parents are responsible for all administrative and legal costs, translation, notarization, travel and medical expenses. These costs could be higher or lower depending on the amount of time spent in the adoptive child’s country. Every child placement requires some travel and some countries insist the adoptive parents spend time there to become acquainted with the child’s culture and customs. Of course since International adoption requires foreign travel, the prospective parents require valid passports.

International adoption has its advantages. Although the process is much more complicated, being matched with a child is quicker. Many children are abandoned or living in orphanages. The adoptive parents will not have to stress about the birth mother changing her mind or ever wanting to raise the child on her own. The competition for adopting foreign children is less intense because there are so many children available for adoption. International adoption rules are less strict than in North America. Prospective parents who do not fit the standard profile for adoption in Canada or the US would be just as eligible as a traditional married couple for foreign adoption.

Regarding disadvantages and International adoption, the prospective parents need to be prepared for lots of red tape, delays and be extra careful who they are dealing with. There is a potential for fraud in foreign adoption. There are challenges when choosing International adoption but normally these challenges can be overcome. It’s important to remember when adopting a child from another country that their culture is adopted.

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