International, or intercountry adoption, refers to the adoption of children from a country abroad of the United States. International adoption is a choice made by couples who want to bring a child into their family from another country. Sometimes this decision is informed by a philanthropic drive to provide a loving, financially stable home for a child from a developing country or those affect by a natural disasters or war that leave many children without parents. Other times, adopters may feel adoption laws in another country are more lenient for nontraditional adopters. Most foreign countries also have older age limits for adoption than agencies in the U.S.
It's often said that anyone cleared for adoption will have no trouble with an international placement, particularly from countries, like China, that have placed over 64,000 children in adoptive American households since 1999. The international adoption placement also happens faster than a domestic placement, making it a popular decision for adopters who do not want to wait two years for an older child adoption to finalize.
Nearly all international adoptions are of children under the age of 5, meaning that most of the children are still young enough to have experienced traumatic events but are also able to adapt to a new lifestyle and culture. If a couple is placed with a child of a different ethnic background or racial appearance, the adoption will also be considered a transracial adoption, which may require a few extra culturally sensitive steps in the adoption process. Countries in Africa, for example, may require adopters to spend a certain amount of time in the child's country of origin, getting to know the local community, activities, religious practices and cuisine.
Other practices unique to international adoption include a philanthropic donation to the child's orphanage, institution or agency. Chinese placements may also include a photo of a second child that an agency hopes to place in tandem.
Although most international adoptees will not know their birth parents and searching for them can be difficult after adulthood, international adoptees will still question their cultural origins and if they are of a different racial background may need extra support while maturing in a transracial family.
International adoption requires a lot of paperwork, filing costs for which averages around $1,000. Other expenses adopters can expect include travel (airfare, lodging and food), a home study, a dossier and translator service fees and a donation for the child's orphanage of origin.
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When Erica Finkelstein-Parker shares the news that she and her husband, Brian, will be adopting two children from the Democratic Rep-ublic of the Congo, the reactions she receives from other Jews are sometimes disheartening.
Local family raises funds for international adoption
One local family is expecting a new addition to their family sometime in 2014. Why the long wait?'Show Hope' Organization Celebrates Milestone
A local organization that helps with international adoption is celebrating it's 10th anniversary. "Show Hope" hosted a family fun picnic on Sunday to commemorate the big milestone.
Kismet - A new website on adoption
May 9, 2013, 8:25 am
Hi, My name is Shelby Redfield and I am a Korean adoptee. It has always been in my heart to document adoption stories, and I just recently launched my website on adoption, where I plan to upload a new video each month, capturing all the voices of adoption. Right now there is a piece on Korean...Kismet - A new website on adoption
May 9, 2013, 8:23 am
Hi, My name is Shelby Redfield and I am a Korean adoptee. It has always been in my heart to document adoption stories, and I just recently launched my website on adoption, where I plan to upload a new video each month, capturing all the voices of adoption. Right now there is a piece on Korean...
Relative Adoption Philippines
June 4, 2013, 4:22 am
Hi, my husband & I are adopting my half sister's son. I am a Filipino by birth, married to a Canadian, became a Canadian citizen, and reacquired my Philippine citizenship and is presently in the Philippines for more than a year now (got a home here where I raise this little boy) until the adoption...In New York; looking for adoption agency recommendations
May 13, 2013, 7:01 pm
Hi there. :) My husband and I have two children and have decided to pursue international adoption for our third. We are both feeling led towards Korea. We're in New York and I've seen tons of adoption agency listings, but I'd love some recommendations. Could you please PM me? I would love to use...
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