International Adoption

Issues to consider with foreign adoption

International adoption is becoming increasingly popular. In Canada, for example, overseas adoptions actually account for the majority of approved adoptions in the country. The practice is not without its controversies and restrictions, though. If you're considering foreign adoption, there are a lot of legal, philosophical and logistical questions you need to come to terms with before proceeding.

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Benefits and Drawbacks of Overseas Adoption

One of the primary benefits of international adoption is that it allows adoptive parents to be matched with children that share their ethnic heritage. For example, a Chinese American couple can adopt a child of Chinese heritage, something that may not be possible through a domestic adoption agency. It also allows socially conscious couples to bring a child into a much more advantageous and privileged living situation than would be possible in the child's country of birth.

However, some detractors consider this to be a drawback of international adoption. The child may grow up feeling disconnected with his or her cultural identity, and may find it extremely difficult to locate family members if he or she chooses to try to reconnect with his or her birth family upon reaching adulthood. Also, international adoption agency fees are high, and adoptive parents can get trapped behind a wall of administrative and legal red tape as they try to navigate the complex process.

Countries to Consider for International Adoption

Every nation sets its own policies regarding international adoption, and some are easier to navigate than others. China's adoption practices as well as Korea's are both very well-established and have a reputation for being less troublesome for overseas parents. Russian adoption, Ukraine adoption and Guatemala adoption are all popular with international couples, and following the 2010 earthquake, there has been a lot of interest in Haiti adoption as well.

In recent years, Belarus, Romania and Cambodia have all revamped their international adoption laws, making it tougher for overseas parents to adopt their children. Many African countries have complex policies as well; some require overseas adoptive parents to take up residency in the country for a period of time, and other countries outright forbid international adoption altogether. If you're interested in a foreign adoption, you should find a reputable and licensed international adoption agency or an adoption lawyer who can address your questions and concerns and help you understand this complex process.