If you're looking to build your family, you have several options to consider. One of those options is adopting internationally. But your family-building search doesn't end there. Once you've decided that international adoption is best for you and your family, you'll then need to decide which country from which you want to adopt. And, sometimes, that's not an easy task.
As you go through this expansive section, you'll find information and resources on all topics of international adoption. Explore these pages and find the information you need. Once you do, you'll be able to make an informed decision and have a successful international adoption journey.
As you're deciding which country to adopt from, make sure to stay up-to-date on each country's adoption laws and restrictions. These can change frequently, and you don't want to waste your time going down an adoption path when it will never be finalized because you're ineligible to adopt from that particular country.
In most cases, international adoptions are finalized in the country of origin, so once you come home with your child, s/he is already legally yours. Before finalization, however, you will most likely need to visit that country once or several times--sometimes for weeks at a time--to meet with adoption professionals, fill out paperwork, and fulfill certain adoption-related requirements. This is an important part of the international adoption process that you'll want to be sure you can accomplish before you choose a country.
Here are some things to consider when adopting internationally:
Identifying the above specifics will help guide you to the international programs best suited to you and your adoption needs. One of the major topics you'll want to be completely aware of is which ones are Hague Convention countries. The Hague Convention on Protection of Children in Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, commonly called the Hague Convention, is an international agreement between many countries to safeguard children eligible for adoption and streamline and standardize adoption regulations, expectations, and laws. Membership in the Hague Convention isn't required, and there are many countries that aren't a part of it. However, the United States prefers for its citizens to work with Hague Convention countries, as the process is more regulated. This helps ensure that the children are actually eligible for adoption and are treated well.
In order to adopt internationally, you must meet certain minimum standards, as defined by both the United States and the country from which you're adopting. Some countries have standards and qualifications that consist of age, weight, health, income, and even racial identity and background. So, make sure you're aware of both countries' eligibility requirements before you begin the process.
International adoption is a wonderful and exciting journey towards parenthood. Enjoy the process. It can be hard to do when you're focused on the end goal of finalization, but every step is an important one. Consider keeping an adoption scrapbook or journal that you can share with your child when s/he is a little older.
Good luck on your journey!