Approximately 5,370 children from across the world were adopted by loving American families in 2016. If you're considering international adoption, you’ll first need to understand how this process differs from domestic adoptions. Unfortunately, there are several pieces of misinformation found online — as well as through friends and family — which might be keeping you from helping a child from another country who needs a home.
Learn about a few of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding international adoptions.
Myth # 1: International Adoption From Any Country Is an Option
One common misconception is that you can adopt a baby from any country. Not all countries allow international adoption. However, several countries will work with American parents and families, including China, South Korea, India, and Ukraine.
Each of these countries has its own adoption policies, including who can adopt, how much time the child must spend in foster care, and how many trips you need to make before the adoption process is complete.
For example, prospective parents who want to adopt a child from India cannot have more than three children, must be over the age of twenty (in most cases), and can be either married or single. Additionally, many of the children adopted internationally from India are over the age of two, as those under the age of two are typically given to parents who live in India.
Parents who want to adopt children from South Korea must be married for at least three years and be between the ages of 25 and 45. Both prospective parents must also visit at least two times.
The adoption laws can also change from year to year, and many countries will have restrictions on the number of permitted international adoptions each year. Do your research before starting the international adoption process with any country.
Myth #2: International Adoptions Are More Expensive Than Domestic Adoptions
The cost of any adoption, international or domestic, depends on several factors. For example, prospective parents will need to pay for paperwork, travel expenses, and the expense to have a home study conducted. You might be surprised to learn that in many cases, the total cost of a domestic adoption is very similar to that of an international adoption.
Additionally, many prospective parents find that financing an international adoption is less stressful because the costs are often spread out over a longer period, compared to a domestic adoption. This will give parents seeking an international adoption more time to save, make, or raise the money to complete the process.
Myth #3: International Adoptions Mean No Contact With the Birth Family
Because the birth parents and family are thousands of miles away, many parents seeking an international adoption assume that once the process is finished, all connections will be broken. However, this isn't always the case. Because of the internet and more access to an individual's personal information, a birth parent or family will sometimes attempt to reconnect with their child or sibling.
The final decision of whether to allow this reconnection is left to the adoptive parent. However, before you dismiss this idea, consider that maintaining some contact with your adopted child's birth family can be useful in the future.
For instance, the birth family can help you gain a better understanding of their medical history. Staying in touch can also help your child gain a better understanding of their culture and identity. If you want to remain in touch but want more control over when and how you can be contacted, ask the adoption agency to act as an intermediary.
If you're considering international adoption, remember that many myths and misconceptions are connected to the process. The professionals at the Law Office of Adebimpe Jafojo, P.C., can answer any further questions you might have.