Americans have been adopting children from abroad since the 1950s. While international adoptions have decreased in recent years, primarily due to countries closing their international adoption programs and costs and wait times increasing, it is still a popular choice for many adoptive parents, and there are still many children growing up in orphanages abroad in need of families.
Most of the children available for international adoption are toddlers or older kids and most have some special needs. If you are trying to decide if international adoption is best for you, check out our Quick Comparison Chart for the Different Types of Adoption.
- Deciding on a Country When Choosing International Adoption (1 hr. radio interview with experts)
- Adoption Comparison Charts for top placing countries to the US (lists parental restrictions, type of kids available, cost, waiting times, etc.
- The Creating a Family 3-Step Process for Choosing an International Adoption Agency
- Health Issues to Consider When Reviewing an Adoption Referral or Potential Match (1 hr. radio show w/ international adoption experts)
- Health, Emotional, and Developmental Issues Common to Children Adopted Internationally (1 hr. radio show w/ international adoption expert)
- Feeding Issues and Nutrition in Adoption (1 hr. radio show w/ an international adoption pediatrician and a feeding expert)
It is not necessary that the doctor is located nearby, but some families want to be able to talk with someone in person or take their child for a post-adoption evaluation with the same doctor who reviewed the referral.
Different doctors have different personalities, so talk with them first to see if it is a good fit. When interviewing an IA doctor consider the following questions:
- How many adoption referrals have they evaluated? In the last year?
- How many adoption referrals have they evaluated from my country?
- How long does it usually take to have a referral evaluated if we have medical information before we travel?
- How do they arrange to review data if we receive medical information when we are in-country?
- How comfortable do they feel with diagnosing FAS in a child of ___age and ___ethnicity?
- How much do they charge and what is included? Are phone calls after the initial review included or an extra charge?
- Questions to Ask Your Child’s Orphanage or Foster Home Caregiver
- Promoting Attachment with Your Child While In Country (1 hr. radio interview with experts)
- Bringing Your Adopted Child Home: How To Survive The Trip (blog post)
It is very important for adoptive parents to realize that children in orphanages have likely experienced abuse and neglect, and these traumas can have a lasting impact on children, but with good adoption education and support for adoptive families and children, most children and adoptive families will thrive. We have many resources in our section on Attachment Issues in Adoption including:
- Instilling Cultural Awareness and Pride in Internationally Adopted Children (1 hr. radio interview with experts)
- Homeland Tours (blog post)
- Cultural Identity and The Internationally Adopted Child (video)
Creating a Family has many more resources on international adoption. Here are a few we think you will find particularly helpful:
- 4 Tried and True Tips for a Smooth Transition Home with Adopted Kids (blog post)
- Every Child Deserves to be the Apple of Someone’s Eye (blog post)
- What is Happening with International Adoptees and the Citizenship Crisis? (1 hr. radio show w/ expert)
- Helping Children Heal From Sexual Abuse (1 hr. radio show w/ expert)
- Common Special Needs in International Adoption (1 hr. radio show w/ international adoption expert)
- Helping Internationally Adopted Children Develop a Healthy Cultural & Racial Identity (1 hr. radio show w/ expert)
Many more Creating a Family radio interviews with experts, videos, blogs, fact sheets, and Q and A’s with Experts on adopting from abroad can be found at the icons below.
Sources: Creating a Family resources listed below, www.adoption.state.gov