International adoption is a wonderful way to adopt a child and make a difference not only in the life of the child but in the life of the individual doing the adopting. By utilizing the international adoption process, one is able to bring a child over to the United States to give them perhaps a better life than they would have had in their home country. The following paragraphs will provide some general information regarding the process and various aspects of adoption.
How International Adoption Works
The first step in pursuing an international adoption is to choose a particular adoption agency in which to go through. This can be done by obtaining recommendations from friends and family members who have undergone this type of adoption process or by visiting a local adoption agency in your area that specializes in international adoption.
Once you have selected a particular adoption agency with which to work with, you will then receive procedural information from that particular agency on how the process works. Generally, you will fill out an application form and submit that with any other required documents. Once the application has been reviewed by the adoption agency, the agency will then arrange for a homestudy to be conducted. A homestudy is basically what it sounds like, a study of the prospective adoptive parent and living arrangements to make sure that an adopted child would be well cared for in that environment.
Once the homestudy has been completed, the individual wishing to adopt internationally must fill out an I-600A form to submit with the Immigration and Naturalization Office (INS). This form must be submitted in order to obtain a visa to bring a child over from a foreign country. After this form is submitted, INS will contact the individual to schedule a time for fingerprinting.
At this time the homestudy has most likely been reviewed and hopefully approved by the particular adoption agency. The individual will then need to start gathering information which is required by the country where the child will be adopted from. Once all the required approvals from the INS, relevant country where child lives, and adoption agency have been received, the next step is obtaining a referral of the child. Once the child has been chosen, the adopter will get all of the descriptive information about the child and the adoption process will start winding down.
Once the entire adoption process has received approval and the child is ready for adoption, the individuals adopting their little one will need to make travel arrangements to go pick up their special child. Once in the country where the child is located, the adopter will finish filling out required INS forms at the United States Embassy. When the child and adoptive parents arrive home the adoption agency will complete the process by doing a few at-home visits and that is it in a nutshell, although it rarely is a fast and easy process.
International Adoption Options
There are many different types of children who can be adopted through the international adoption process. Children of all ages including infants, toddlers, older children and even sibling groups, so as not to separate brothers and sisters from one another, can be adopted. One can choose to adopt a boy or a girl as well. Children who have special needs also need homes and these little ones need a caring adoptive parent to take care of them. One can adopt from a number of countries including but not limited to Cambodia, Russia, Vietnam, Philippines, Colombia and China. Children from a number of other countries are looking to be placed with a caring United States adoptive parent(s) as well.
Cost of International Adoption
It is necessary to know in advance that international adoption is not an inexpensive process. However, the love that is exchanged between adoptive parent and child is worth more than any amount of money. Typically, the total cost of international adoption is in the range of $17,000 to $30,000. The cost may vary depending upon the child chosen and country of origin.
Pros and Cons of International Adoption
There are a large number of pros associated with international adoption. Some of the pros included with this type of adoption are a large number of children throughout the world that need to be adopted, having a reliable cost figure available to the prospective parent when first inquiring about international adoption and the fact that international adoption is often easier and less lengthy than domestic adoption.
As everything has their cons as well, there are a few disadvantages to international adoption. These include poor or lack of prenatal care for the birth mother, not being able to adopt a newborn infant, lack of background medical and family history of the child and a great deal of paperwork.
With all of that said, it is important to look at the full picture. There are so many beneficial aspects to adopting a child from another country. The wonderful gift that the adoptive parent is receiving far exceeds any factors relating to cost or other less important features. If one wishes to adopt a child from another country and has the money to do so, it is such a great opportunity to be able to change the life of a child forever and enrich the adoptive parent's life as well.