It is estimated that 153 million children worldwide are considered orphans. Developed countries tend to think of orphans as children who have no remaining parents, but the 153 million includes children who have lost one parent or both parents. This number does not include street children, trafficked children, or the children who are forced to fight as soldiers. There are a estimated 150 million children who are living on the streets with no place to call home. Around 1.2 million children are trafficked into the sex industry each year, while thousands of children are taken from their families and forced to fight as soldiers. Global adoption is vital in order for these staggering numbers to drop. If you are considering global adoption below are some frequently asked questions that will help you reach the child who is out there waiting for you, together we can make love visible.
What Types and Ages of Children are available fore Global/International adoption?
Children available for international adoption range from infants to older children, and include healthy children as well as those who have special needs.
What are the steps in the International adoption process?
The steps each family will take may vary depending on the agency they are working with and the country adopting from. However these are the standard steps you should anticipate.
- Application – each agency has an application process. This can include a Preliminary Application just to show interest and a Formal Application to start the adoption process.
- Home Study – The home study or home study reportis a document that evaluates and approves your home for an adoption. This is the agency’s formal approval of the adoption applicant. It is also the basis for everyone else’s approval and has to be written to satisfy the International countries requirement.
- Dossier – This is a collection of papers or other sources, containing detailed information about your family. Medical reports, birth certificates and financial statements are just a few of the documents you will be asked to provide. For many countries, not only must you generate a document, it must be legalized. This is a series of notaries, stamps and seals that are affixed to the document to present to the foreign country.
- Referral – You will be matched with your child. Information about the child is collected by the foreign agency sponsoring the international adoption program and will be supplied to you.
- Travel and Placement – You will travel to the country you are adopting from (the length, time, and details change based on country). But once in country you will begin parenting your child and formally adopt your child which could involve visits to the embassy, court, etc..
- Post Placements / Supervision – once you are home with your child most countries require a supervisory period where your agency will visit you around 3 times with in the next 6th months.
The State Department created a A-Z document on International adoption, that has a lot of helpful information about the Adoption process.
What Countries can I adopt from?
There are many International countries you are able to adopt from. So when choosing work with your adoption agency to determine the best fit for you and your family. It is important to find out if the country is a Hague Accredited. You can find the list of Hague accredited countries here http://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/hague-convention/convention-countries.html
What is Hague Accreditation
The practice of international adoption is regulated by The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. The Hague provides guidelines to agencies in order to protect the best interests of internationally adopted children.
Financing your adoption
International adoptions are not cheap and can cost up to $40,000 depending on country and agency. There are a lot of grants and programs available to help you get the financial resources you need to adopt internationally. Check out our list of organizations for Adoption financial assistance.
Adoption Laws that are important to know
- Family Leave Act – The Family Medical Leave Act requires that an employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for several reasons, one being the placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care. More information
- Omnibus Act – This act guarantees adopted children the same access to health insurance as birth children. More information
- Children Citizen Act – Conveys US citizenship to children from other countries adopted by Americans. More information
Recommended Global Adoption Agency Websites