Prospective adoptive parents living the United States may adopt from several countries so long as the laws of both countries are followed by all parties involved in the adoption process. As residents of the United States, prospective adoptive parents must adhere to the laws and guidelines set forth by the U.S. government as part of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, even if the child’s country is not a “Hague country.”
Once you have decided that adoption is right for your family and you have decided to adopt a child who is living in another country, here are some things to consider in your research:
- Which countries are open to prospective adoptive parents in the United States?
- What are the requirements regarding the marital status of couples, length of relationship between the couple and whether or not single parents may adopt in that country. Some countries also have age requirements for the adoptive parents as well as how many children can be adopted at one time and/or how many children can already be in your home at the time of the adoption.
- How long has the country been facilitating adoptions with the United States and what is the current status of the program?
- How long is the adoption process in the country? Do laws remain relatively the same or do they frequently change? Is the adoption finalized in-country or after immigration to the United States?
- Which accredited U.S. adoption agencies have an adoption program in that country, and how long has the agency been facilitating adoptions wit the country?
- Seek out references from a variety of sources. Do not limit yourself to only researching the U.S. side of the adoption process. Be sure to research the organizations and agencies in-country as well.
- What kind of information will be made available to you about the available child, and at what point in the process? Will you be allowed to review the information with a medical professional before deciding whether or not to adopt the child? Where will the child live and how will he be cared for during the adoption process?
- What kind of paperwork is required? How they processed or certified once in-country? Will any of the documents require updating during the process? If so, for what reason(s)?
- What kind of travel and in-country stay is required by the country and/or the adoption agency?
- What post-adoption services are provided by the U.S. agency? What are the post-adoption reporting requirements of the country?
These are just a few of the things prospective adoptive parents must know and understand to increase their chances of a successful intercountry adoption.