You can adopt in several different ways. One of those ways is to adopt internationally. Once you've decided to adopt internationally, the next hardest decision you'll probably make is which country you'll adopt from. There are so many countries to choose from that it can be a little intimidating when first beginning the adoption process. While you could choose any of the available countries, it's probably best not to randomly choose an adoptive country. It should take ample research, pondering, and discussion before you come to a conclusion. This isn't an easy decision to make, but here are a few things to keep in mind to make it as easy as possible.
Travel Comfort Level - One of the first steps in deciding which country to adopt from is to decide which countries you're comfortable traveling to. No matter which country you adopt from, you will need to travel there, sometimes several times for weeks at a time. So, it's crucial that you're comfortable with the location.
Country Requirements - Every country has different adoption requirements. Some have age limits, monetary income minimums, health requirements, and even limits on the number of children you already have. Before beginning the international adoption process, make sure you fit perfectly and seamlessly into that country's requirements. It will save you a lot of time, energy, and money if you're aware of this from the very beginning.
Hague Convention - The Hague Convention is an agreement between countries in relation to adoption practices and regulations. The ultimate goal of the Hague Convention is to ensure the upmost protection of children throughout the world. However, not all countries are involved, as the inclusion is voluntary. When deciding on a country, you may want to spend some time researching that country's involvement in the Hague Convention and how well it follows the guidelines. Again, not all countries are a part of it, and if you choose a country that isn't a part of it, that's up to you. Just know that the adoption process in those countries may offer less protection for you and the child.
Language Barrier - While there will probably be a language barrier when you travel to other countries, the important language barrier to consider is the one you'll experience when internationally adopting an older child. Even if the child has a grasp on the English language, it can be a difficult transition for both sides of the adoption triad. This is not something that should necessarily stop you from adopting internationally, but being aware of this early on will give you more time to prepare for that language transition.
Stay Up-To-Date - Adoption laws change quite often. No matter how far along you are in the international adoption process, it's crucial that you stay up-to-date. You never know when a change in laws will affect your personal adoption process, and you don't want to be caught unaware when it's too late to avoid pitfalls and setbacks.
Adopting internationally requires a lot of planning and research, but it can be an amazing experience for your entire family. Not only will you get to experience and see another culture, you'll have the opportunity to participate in that culture while you're there to finalize the adoption. Continue to embrace that culture, even after adoption finalization. That culture and that country will always be a part of your life and your child's life. International adoption has the power to further enrich your life. Let it.
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.