So you want to look for international adoption information? The first step in your international adoption information search would be to find an ethical, licensed and knowledgeable Christian adoption agency. While an international adoption is a wonderful way to give children a permanent hope and loving home, the process is extremely difficult and your key to success is a Christian adoption agency. But just what international adoption information should you look for to help you choose the right Christian adoption agency? Here are five tips for choosing the right Christian adoption agency for your international adoption.
What is a Christian adoption agency and why is a “Christian” agency important? The Encarta Dictionary defines Christian as kind and unselfish showing qualities such as kindness, helpfulness, and concern for others. Most Christian adoption agencies are non-profit and in the country to provide a kindness and be helpful to the children who are orphaned and in need of a loving caring family. Many Christian adoption agencies have non-profit financial arms to help these orphanages with money, equipment, medical supplies and trained personnel in an effort, not only to provide homes for the children, but to help the children in their care and the individuals they hire, to understand correct ways to serve the children. You do not need to be a Christian to adopt from a Christian adoption agency, but no matter if you adopt from an international adoption agency or a Christian adoption agency, it is vital you do your homework. Understand which countries are good adoption countries and if the Christian adoption agency is licensed to work in this country. Not all Christian adoption agencies are licensed for every country. Most focus on specific countries because they have a vested interest in that country. Most Christian adoption agencies will be members of The Hague Accreditation or the Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS).
Look for more international adoption information on the Internet. This will help you have a better understanding of the pros and cons of any international adoption. The Internet has more information than you’ll want to read in a lifetime. Be sure to check the Hague and the government adoption sites.
Once you’ve chosen two or three international adoption agencies, it’s time to investigate. It’s wise to ask them for the names of people they’ve worked with before and contact those parents and ask them how their international adoption agency helped, didn’t help or could have been better. Ask about their experience and if they’d use the agency again or even adopt internationally. Then contact the State licensing agency and ask if the international adoption agency’s license is current and if there are any major complaints. The Better Business Bureau can also tell you if there have been complaints against the international adoption agency you are considering. See if the international adoption agency is a member of The Hague Accreditation or JCICS. Then meet with the agency and ask to see all their information, their paperwork, fee schedules, and all contracts you will need to sign.
Don’t sign any documents until you read them and understand them thoroughly. A signed legal document has standing in a court, both financial and emotional, so don’t sign anything until you READ it and UNDERSTAND it. A licensed, well respected, Hague Accreditation Christian adoption agency or an international adoption agency member of JCICS will be more than happy to spend extensive time with you to help you understand the commitments you are making to the international adoption agency and the child you are trying to adopt. Your Christian adoption agency can walk you through the massive stacks of legal paperwork from the US State Department; they can talk with you about home studies, and the reports you will have to file after the child is placed in your home. Be sure to ask, the international adoption agency or the Christian adoption agency can’t read your mind, they’ll try to answer all the questions, but if you don’t ask you won’t get an answer.
Once you decide on a Christian adoption agency, don’t keep second guessing yourself. Get working. International adoption takes a lot of time, decision-making, and planning. International adoptions don’t happen overnight, there are mounds of US State Department paperwork, planning for the new child, organizing your household, finding the financing, understanding the country where your international adoption will take place and the challenges your child will have in moving to the US and understanding the challenges you will have with a new baby or child. A good dose of patience will be a vital key to surviving an international adoption.
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If you are considering an international baby adoption, then you will need to also find a reputable agency to help guide you through the paperwork and process. In addition, when some families are hoping for a baby adoption, they employ the help of an attorney.
International adoptions are often fast and can be completed in as little 10 to 14 months from the time of application. The majority of children who are eligible for adoption are newborns, who were usually separated from their birth mother within a few days after birth. At that time, they are placed in foster care until the adoption process is complete. In addition to newborn infants, there are also sometimes older children who are seeking adoption.
Most baby adoption agencies, who help to handle international adoptions, will consider an application from either a married couple or a single woman, who is an adult and has completed a successful home study. In addition, most adoptions are given to individuals and/or families who are both emotionally and financially stable. The number of current children that an individual has, if any, is not usually a deciding factor when it comes to international baby adoption.
As a general rule, once the adoption process is finalized, the parent(s) is required to travel to their new child’s country in order to pick them up. This generally takes 2 to 3 days before the paperwork is finalized and the child is allowed to exit the country. The fee for baby adoption will vary from one country to the next and will largely depend on each policy.
Due to strict immigration laws and all of the paperwork involved, individuals considering an international baby adoption should consult a local attorney. Some families have also consulted with international attornyes with great success. This will help to ensure that all paperwork and other required procedures are done properly in order to avoid delays with the baby adoption and the return home. The attorney will often be required to accompany the adopting family to pick up the child and to finalize the details of the adoption. This will help protect the rights of the new parent(s) and the child as well.
All children who are adopted abroad, and have been in the custody of the adoptive family for a period of less than two years, are required to possess U.S. immigrant orphan petitions and orphan visas before entering the United States. This process typically requires that the adoptive parent(s) be found suitable for adoption, an investigation into the status of the child be completed and finalization of the visa application.
International adoption, or adopting children from other countries, is becoming more and more acceptable today. This process of international adoption is now so specialized and the laws governing international adoptions so complex, it’s vital to work with a Hague Certified adoption agency. There are many concerns someone wanting to participate in an international adoption should know. Below are 10 important topics that should be understood before beginning the international adoption process.
Why do you want an international adoption? Before you embark on the road to an international adoption, you might want to take a close and honest look at yourself. Why are you choosing an international adoption vs. a U.S. adoption? Are you financially and emotionally prepared to meet the unique and challenging needs of this new internationally adoption child? Are you willing to give up much of your freedom and some of your work to ensure your international adoption is a positive and good experience for both you and the child? Are you ready to meet the challenges of racial comments, unkind children, and their unkind parents? How are your present children and extended family going to react to a new international adoption?
Your international adoption agency should provide training both before the adoption and after the international adoption. Adoptions from other countries are specialized according to country and while in the U.S. there is only one set of rules to know, it is vital that the international adoption agency works with you to by training you before the adoption about the culture, mores and challenges you will have by adopting a child from a different country. It’s not just the food, but a whole cluster of changes and ideas you will have to deal with. Once, you have been to the country, finalized your international adoption and returned home, you will still have significant challenges and struggles and a caring adoption agency will help you deal with these differences.
What’s the time frame for an international adoption? Don’t let anyone fool you. You can’t have an international adoption finalized overnight, or even in a month. There are legal documents to file, passports to get, visas, the legal adoption process in the country and a variety of other items to consider and solve before the international adoption can be finalized. An ethical adoption agency will help you understand all of these challenges and help you through the process.
What countries allow international adoptions? International adoptions can occur from many countries, from China to Russia to Guatemala, to India, Colombia and Haiti. There are concerns and challenges with each of these countries, some allow adoptions for a short time, and then close them. Some have strict rules while others are difficult to work with. A good international adoption agency will help you swim in these specialized waters.
Should I use an international adoption agency? Yes. A Hague Certified adoption agency will know the international adoption rules and help keep you out of trouble. Sometimes adoption lawyers are not aware of concerns or an individual trying to go through the adoption process without help may find they’ve been taken for a ride. It is also important to ask if your international adoption agency has visited the country where the international adoption is taking place. It is very important that someone in the agency know first hand the challenges you will run into in another country.
When is the international adoption finalized? International adoptions are finalized in the country where the child is being picked up. Because adoptions are finalized in the country from which the child is being adopted, it is vital that your adoption agency help you ensure that child is approved for emigration status with the U.S. You don’t want to end up with a child that can not come into the U.S.
Will the information I get from the country of origin in an international adoption be accurate and complete? Not usually. Internationally adopted children are often from an orphanage and there is very little medical or family information available. Sometimes the parents have died or the child has just been dropped off with no medical record at all.
Are adopted children at par mentally and physically with children adopted in the U.S.? There is a good possibility the internationally adopted child will have some types of development or physical growth concerns. Many of these children will need some good quality “catch up” opportunities to achieve par with children from the U.S. who have not spent part of their life in an orphanage. According to studies many of internationally adopted children had weights less than 97% of their peers. The good news is that these same children seem to catch up quickly given loving care.
Will my internationally adopted child have health concerns? Possibly.