International adoption was at its pick after the Korean War, when many orphans found a new home in the US. Americans have adopted hundreds of children across the world ever since.
The number of international adoptions has significantly decreased in the last decade. This mainly has to do with greater restrictions imposed on prospective parents worldwide. Such restrictions might require greater travel or sometimes even residency periods.
Some countries including Russia banned any international adoption whatsoever. Check some of the statistics on international adoption yourself. In most cases now, adopting internationally is possible in case of older and special needs children. However, many couples still consider international adoption and here is what they need to know.
Why International Adoption?
Why are some couples attracted by the idea of adopting internationally? Sometimes the reason is to reconnect with their own ethnic roots while other times they might just be inspired by successful adoption stories.
Other reasons for adopting a child overseas is because of the wish for closed adoption, which became very difficult to attain while adopting domestically. And finally, some are attracted by the prospect of not being chosen by the birth mother.
What Is the Process Like?
International adoptions are mainly carried out by private non-profit adoption agencies. Public agencies usually do not participate. Although some agencies that manage domestic adoptions might work on international ones as well. To enter the US the child you wish to adopt must be an orphan or have one parent who is incapable of providing care.
How Much Does It Cost?
The costs for international adoptions vary between $20,000 to more than $50,000. A cheaper option is available in the case when child’s home country does not require permanent residence on behalf of adoptive parents in the midst of the legal process.
About the Children
There are a couple of subtle details regarding children’s’ ages and their eligibility to enter the US. Children up to 15 years old can move to the US with their adoptive parents. While children aged 16 and 17 are only eligible to do so if their siblings have been adopted by an American family.
As a side note, infants are rarely a target for international adoption. US families prefer to adopt children between one and four years of age. Most of those kids are from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe or Latin America.
What Else Is Important to Consider?
Sustaining a transracial family is not an easy task and it takes a lot of responsibilities. For children not to feel like an outsider, the adoptive family should keep them in touch with their original culture. Be that in form of traditions, food or friendships with people of the same ethnicity.
The challenges of racism is another thing parents should be aware of. It is parents’ duty to talk with their children through it and support them psychologically.
Are the Adoptees Happy?
Studies show that most adopted children are happy with their new families. Those suffering from malnutrition recover successfully both physically and emotionally. Make sure to take care of Early Intervention to find out if the child requires special medical care before his arrival or right away after. Always be open to professional help. Parenting education, medicine, psychology and rehabilitation specialists can help you and your child to stay in good shape and maintain a good relationship with each other.
Pursuing an international adoption is a long process and at some point can get pretty nerve-racking. Difficulties might arise at each and every stage, however, if you are sure you are doing the right thing, for you and the child, then no doubt you will get through it.