Making an International Adoption Happen

Little boy in Ouidah
Creative Commons License photo credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen

For some couples who have had trouble trying to conceive, adoption is the next best option. Yet, a domestic adoption can prove to be troublesome and, in some cases, prohibitively expensive. On top of that, some couples feel like they really want to make a difference in another part of the world, and adopting a child in need from another country is how they want to do that.

If you’re going to pursue an international adoption, there are some things you will need to do to make it happen:

  • Do your research. Look into different countries where international adoption is possible. There are adoption agencies in many countries that will work with you to provide hope to a child and to help grow your family. Accordingly, you’ll need to look into factors like what kinds of restrictions the country might have (such as marital status or age), as well as things like paperwork, how long the adoption will take, and more.
  • Start seeking out agencies. You’ll really be working with two agencies – one domestic and one international. In some cases, the local agency will be able to point you in the right direction as far as reaching the international agency.
  • Get some support online. There are all sorts of adoption-related forums, blogs, support groups, and more that you can look into. Not only can these resources provide you with emotional support as you go through a sometimes-difficult process, they can also help provide you with advice and experience about making an international adoption work.
  • Watch out for scams. There are scammers out there who will try to take advantage of you. In some cases, they’re false agencies who don’t really ever complete an adoption. In other cases, they’re agencies that are incompetent. You’re looking for an agency with a stellar reputation that provides you with regular status updates. Make sure to ask for references, and do some checking on your own.
  • Be patient. The international adoption process takes time, often anywhere from about six months to three years. In some countries, the process is very unpredictable, so if you’re going to do this be sure you’re in it for the long haul.

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