How To Do an International Adoption

Adopting a child is one of the most selfless acts a person or persons can do.  There are simply too many abandoned children of different ages that need love and care.  The reasons for adopting a child are different for each individual or couple, and so are the reasons for choosing international adoption over a domestic one.

International or foreign adoption is the process of adopting and bringing a child from a different nation to live with you in your own country.  Domestic adoption on the other hand is adopting a child from your country.  Both types of child adoption are governed by very strict adoption laws.  This private adoption takes months and years to process.

Through the 1993 The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention), a comprehensive international agreement to govern and protect foreign adoptions was reached.  All countries that participated in this historic convention are required to follow the international standards of practices agreed upon for inter-country adoptions.
In order to adopt a child from a foreign country, here are some tips:

1.    Research on inter-country adoption.  The Internet is full of information regarding international adoption.  The best place to find reliable information is Intercountry Adoption.  This agency is under the Office of Children’s Issues of the US State Department.  All the resources you need regarding foreign adoption can be found here.  Here you can find information on:

  • Who can adopt.
  • Who can be adopted.
  • Adoption agencies.
  • The Hague Process and Non-Hague Process of inter-country adoption.
  • Pertinent news as well as adoption statistics.
  • Links to the adoption process per country.
  • Forms that need to be accomplished, and more.

2.    Decide which country to adopt from.  It is easy to say that you want to adopt an Asian child for example.  But there are many countries in Asia and each one has its own laws on international adoption.  Prospective adoptive parents must meet certain requirements pertaining to age, financial status, residency requirements, etc.  There are some countries that do not allow single adoptive parents while others have weight requirements for parents.  Religion also plays a part in some country’s adoption requirements.  Find out if you are eligible to adopt from the country of your choice.

3.    Find an adoption agency.  Look for an accredited adoption agency within your state.  A licensed adoption agency helps you navigate the whole process of international adoption.  The agency you choose must have extensive experience with the country you are adopting from.

4.    Find a lawyer.  Look for an attorney who is experienced in handling international adoption.  Adoption is a legal process.  It is best to consult a lawyer to ensure that you are following the proper procedures in adopting.  Legal representation is important in order to protect your rights as well as those of your soon-to-be adoptive child.

Adopting a child, whether it is a domestic or an international adoption is a long process.  There are many requirements to fulfill, forms to sign, fees to pay, interviews and seminars to attend.  Not all countries have the same requirements for adoptive parents.  In other words, adoption is not for the faint of heart.  However, after undergoing this arduous process, the gift of holding a child in your arms is priceless.  


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