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How to adopt Internationally. How do I get started?

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 internationally.

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 marriages
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.


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