Adoption is becoming an increasingly common practice, whether by choice or necessity, and many prospective parents and families are turning to international adoption agencies to fulfill their adoption needs. However before new parents choose to adopt internationally they need to be aware of the process that they will be undergoing, and that they will have to comply with the country’s laws which they are adopting from, U.S. laws, and laws set forth by the state they’re residing in. Adopting internationally typically entails:
1. Selecting an adoption agency to adopt through: When you select an adoption agency it’s important to make sure that the agency an accredited agency to ensure that you receive all of the correct information.
2. Having a Home Study done: This process is mandatory and is done to ensure that you, your significant other, and your home environment will be acceptable for bringing a new child into.
3. Receiving approval from the U.S. to adopt: Once you’ve successfully completed a Home Study you can then apply to be considered for adopting internationally. In addition to the Home Study, your home state will also have certain requirements that will need to bet met before you are granted approval. These requirements vary from state to state.
4. Being matched with a child: After you are given approval for adoption, your agency will then start working to match you with a child. Depending on the country, once you are matched you may be required to travel to the country to meet the child, in others you are not.
5. Adopting the child: As soon as the above four steps are completed you will then be able to actually adopt the child. This usually does require visiting their home country to pick up the child.
6. Obtaining a visa and re-adopting: Once the adoptions are finalized overseas, you will then need to get your child an immigrant visa to enter the U.S. It is also common practice to re-adopt the child once they’ve entered the U.S.
Depending on which country you choose to adopt from, you may have to fulfill requirements set forth by the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. This is a treaty that was established to define certain rules and regulations regarding international adoption, and generally is in place to divert any child trafficking or sales, ensuring instead that children are being placed in safe and loving homes.
Several overseas countries are members of the Convention, though not all are, so it’s important to check before beginning the adoption process to make sure that you are fully compliant with all of the rules set forth within the treaty.
Though it can be a very long, drawn out process, international adoption is a very rewarding experience for both the children being adopted and the parents who adopting.
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