More and more Americans are creating families by adopting
children from foreign countries. In 1999, U.S. families
adopted 16,396 foreign-born children. Overall, Russia
was the greatest source for international adoptions,
followed in descending order by China, S. Korea, Guatemala,
Romania, Vietnam, India, Ukraine and Cambodia.
International adoption may be a viable alternative
to domestic adoption for many families; especially those
who want to adopt an infant or toddler.
However, the process can be complex, paperwork-intensive,
and expensive. Like domestic adoptions, costs and waiting
time vary significantly depending on the country and
child chosen. Costs can range from a low of $12,000
to a high of $30,000 or more, although most international
adoptions average between $15,000 and $20,000. Special
needs international adoptions may have lower fees and
shorter waiting periods.
The information presented here is designed to help
prospective adoptive parents through the detailed process
of adopting a child from abroad. While some of the procedures
discussed, such as immigration procedures, are standard
for all intercountry adoptions, others will vary by
source country or by agency.
Learn everything you need to get started on your international
adoption by downloading the complete guide to adopting
What are the Immigration laws for adopting internationally?
When you adopt a child from abroad on of the tasks
which you will incur will be Securing U.S. Citizenship
for Your Child. This has become easier over the past
few years. With new laws helping adopting parents, the
process sometimes is just getting the right paperwork
in order. In other cases it can be a little trickier.
This all depend on the country in which you are adopting
from and the laws with which each country has. Some
countries are easier than others.
We have provided you with some useful information about
how to process works and what you are going to go through.
Securing citizenship should not get in the way of you
wish to adopt internationally. As complicating as it
may seem there are short-cuts. We have included some
useful references to help you get on the right track
to your international adoption.
What forms do I need?
You will need to compile a variety of documents for
the home study and the document dossier for the foreign
court. The required documents usually include, but are
not limited to, the following:
• Birth certificates of both
prospective adoptive parents
• Marriage license, and, if applicable,
divorce decrees or death certificates from previous
• A letter from a physician confirming
the prospective parents' good health
• Financial statements, including
tax returns, statements of assets and liabilities, and
letters from your bank describing your accounts
• Letters from your employer(s)
confirming position, salary, and length of employment
• Letters of recommendation from
friends and associates
• Police records
• Child abuse clearance
• Psychological evaluations.
• Learn everything you need to
know to get you international adoption started by downloading
the guide on adopting internationally.
Are there specific laws for each country?
Each country has specific laws concerning adoption.
We have put together a list of the top adopting countries
with a description of the relevant laws. This will help
give you a general ideal of what you are going to need
to get you adoption started.
As each country has specific laws so does the state
in which you are adopting from. There are several different
issues that need to be addressed depending on which
state you are living in. We have put together a list
of states with the laws for international adoption which
will help you get the process started.
Learn more about the specific laws
for adopting internationally by downloading the guide
to Adopting internationally.