What Is Intercountry Adoption?

Many couples who have struggled to have children unsuccessfully have turned to adoption. Yet, the adoption process in the United States isn’t for everyone. For many parents who are hoping for an infant, the waiting lists can be terribly long. On top of that, many adopting parents simply want to make a difference in the life of someone outside of their home country. Intercountry adoption is a good choice for couples in one of these situations.

Intercountry adoption is the process you use to adopt a child that is born in a country other than where you live, using legal, permanent means. It also means bringing that child to your home country in order to stay with you on a permanent basis.

It’s estimated that as many as 20,000 children are adopted through intercountry adoption in the United States each year.

When you go through the intercountry adoption process, the child immigrates to the United States. That child then has the same rights as a child that was born here. That includes things like inheritance rights, citizenship and more.

Here are some of the reasons why couples choose intercountry adoption instead of adopting a child from within the United States:

  • Some couples may not meet the requirements that the state or that adoption agencies place on who may and who may not adopt a child. Intercountry adoption can be a good option, because adoption rules aren’t always as strict around the world.
  • Some couples want to make a difference in the life of someone in a desperate situation. While there are plenty of children from desperate situations up for adoption in the United States, some people believe that simply living here will, over time, give those children an advantage. Children in other countries, however, don’t have the same liberties, freedoms and opportunities available here.
  • Some couples want to adopt a baby and don’t want to wait. While the intercountry adoption process can take a year or more, it can often take several years on a waiting list to adopt a baby within the United States. This gives those couples a quicker option.

Intercountry adoption is perfectly legal and not uncommon, and worth considering if you’re looking into adoption already.