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International Adoption

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Getting Started with International Adoption

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.

Country Information

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:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Medical needs
  • Special needs

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!

International Adoption Discussions

International Adoption Blogs

Orphan (Every)Day
November 6, 2011, 7:04 pm
Today was Orphan Sunday at many churches around the US. This couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Recently, Ambassador Susan Jacobs,...
Dealing with the Wait
December 6, 2011, 9:13 pm
I was reading an adoption blog the other day, and the author basically said, "Sorry I haven't updated this blog fora number of...
School Musicals and Homeland Visits
February 17, 2012, 12:57 pm
My Chinese-born daughter has been cast as an orphan in a school production of "Annie." She sings the songs until they are constantly...

International Adoption Forums

Getting tired - need some encouragement
April 14, 2014, 4:45 pm
from someone who has made it through the other side OKay, I know this is really a vent, and nothing anyone can say can really change...
Attorney Hugo Fernando Figueroa Mazariegos?
April 14, 2014, 12:52 pm
He is my father, that is if he is an attorney in Guatemala. I have been looking for him but I can help you if you wish. Are you my sibling?
Switching agencies
April 13, 2014, 9:48 am
Is it possible to switch agencies once the dossier is in the country? Has anyone done it?
Visitor Comments (11)
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.
Priscilla - 4 months ago
0 0 3
Help trying to find adopted parents from Belize, I have no idea where to even begin... #1
Gary - 5 months ago
0 0 2
I have a question...If a child was legally adopted out of an orphanage in Japan and brought to the United States, and now 40 years later has lost their birth certificate who do they contact for a new birth certificate? The state the adoption took place in or Japan? #2
Guest - 2 months ago
0 0 2
Moroesi...are you pregnant??? #3
provplace - 5 months ago
0 1 2
Adopting internationally is an exciting, enriching experience that offers travel abroad and the opportunity to learn foreign cultures and customs. Not only does adopting internationally assist families in achieving their dream of parenthood, but also fulfills the dream of children in orphanages who await the love of a family. #4
susan - 3 days ago
0 0 0
Canada adoption help please! My friend is a Canadian resident living in the U.S., married to U.S citizen. She has permanent legal custody of her 8 y.o. niece but wants to adopt. US immigration has told her daughter cannot leave US (or get back in) until adoption occurs. Where to start? Canada adoption?US adoption? Immigration? Anyone have experience with this? #5
Angelique - 4 weeks ago
0 0 0
I am engaged to a wonderful man born to a young mother in Seoul S. Korea on July 8, 1978. This is what my fiancee posted on his FB wall: "My birth name is Nam, Yong Chul. I was born on July 8, 1978 in Seoul, South Korea. I have no information on my mother, Just the name she gave me at birth. All I want is to see you one time, Just to say thank you and I love you." I love him very much and I want to be able to help him find peace before we get married. Please help! Please contact me ASAP! #6
VICKI - 7 months ago
0 1 2
I am helping my friend to look for his sister that was left at the steps of an baby orphanage in Patra. Vrefokomio Patras. The name of the family is called DIONISOPOULOS WRITE ME ANY INFORMATION YOU HAVE xxxx. Maybe still alive names usualy change and birthdates. thank you #7
Mary - 1 month ago
0 0 0
How does an adoptive parent maintain respect and honor towards china pre and post adoption? #8
Robert - 3 months ago
0 0 0
Im trying to find adoption paper for parents to sign so i can keep coustudy of a 15 year old child #9
Eddie Miller - 7 months ago
0 0 1
Looking For My Sister Eddie Miller #10
muluken yesigat - 4 weeks ago
1 0 0
My uncle and his wife past and i was trying to adapt there kids if any one know where can I start the processes. #11
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