Considering International Adoption after Domestic Adoption
Adoption is a beautiful way to make your family a little bit bigger, but with an international adoption you can also make your family a little bit more diverse. While it may be tempting to consider international adoption because it’s more dramatic and often cheaper, sometimes a domestic adoption is better suited for families who don’t feel they can deal with the cultural hurdles they will definitely have. International adoptions carry more steps and hurdles than most domestic adoptions, and can be an even bigger challenge.
If your reasons for adopting a child from abroad is to give a better life to a child while showing your other children and family members that love transcends all outer appearances, nationalities, and countries of birth, you can do the same thing with a domestic adoption. Any adoption really is the epitome of accepting people for who they are, and it can be a lovely way to complete your family and learn new things. Every family should try to consider domestic adoption to help the kids closer to home, before they reach out. In the United States there are countless children who need homes, so consider loving them and taking them into your home before you go international.
If you have thought of a domestic adoption but you still have your heart set on an international adoption there is a lot for you to consider. While a domestic adoption will help out here in the United States, an international adoption isn’t a bad thing! An international adoption just means you’ll have more things to consider before, during, and after the adoption.
When you are considering international adoption the first thing you’ll need to do is get in contact with an adoption agency that deals in international adoptions. Because international adoptions are different than domestic adoptions, not all agencies can accommodate your international needs. Search for an adoption agency that has a long track record of international adoptions, and can give you the complete run down of the steps you’ll need to take to complete an adoption. You’ll want to ask for references, and even consider doing a background check on the owner of the agency.
You can never be too careful when you are dealing with adoption agencies, or anyone that you’ll have to trust with your emotions and pocketbook. It’s easy to go with the first agency that does international adoptions, but you’ll want to take your time and do your research to be sure that you have found the perfect match for you and your needs. You’ll need to think about what countries you are interested in adopting a child from, so you can be sure to get in contact with an agency that is familiar with international adoptions in that area.
One area of concern for those going through or considering an international adoption is finances. International adoptions are often cheaper than domestic ones because those abroad don’t have soaring medical bills and legal bills for the adoptive parents to consider. An international adoption can cost as little as travel expenses or as much as fifty thousand dollars. An adoption agency can usually give you a ballpark estimate of the expenses you’ll likely incur in the international adoption process. Preparing ahead of time for the expense of an international adoption will likely limit the stress so you can focus more on the logistics of the adoption than whether you can afford it.
Once you’ve found an agency that can handle the international adoption you’ll need to be patient. Because the child you want to adopt is likely far away, communication may be a bit slower than if you were doing a domestic adoption. Within a few weeks you should get an idea of children that are available for adoption, and even exchange correspondence with their biological parents or the staff of the agency they are currently with. Once you’ve made a connection the real work begins.
You’ll work with your agency to plan travel to pick up the child on an agreed upon date, you’ll have to deal with citizenship issues, revocation of the biological parents rights, and actual legal adoption. While all of these issues are quite complicated, a good agency will make them less complicated and as smooth a process as possible. If you have an agency that has lawyers on staff then the process can become even less complicated as everything can be dealt with in one place.
International adoption will require travel, and travel can be expensive if you are traveling great distances. Usually, the adoptive parent isn’t required to go pick up the child in their native country but it’s not a bad idea if you want to see where your child has been living for the first days, weeks, months, or years of his or her life. The return trip may also give you a chance to bond with your child.
Preparing to meet your child through an international adoption can be a daunting task. You’ll never know exactly how you’ll respond to seeing your child’s face until you are in the moment. It’s an emotionally charged situation and you need to give yourself permission to let loose and feel a whole assortment of emotions. Seeing and touching your child for the first time after they’ve traveled long distances to join your family will be an unforgettable experience.
A child from an international adoption will likely have the same fears and anxieties of any child who is adopted and displaced, but you may confront other issues with a child who is not from your country. If it’s an older child, an international adoption may mean that your child isn’t familiar with your customs, your displays of affection, or even your language. If they are a bit older they may feel resentful that you have pulled them away from everything they have ever known to live with you. Give yourself and your child some time, even if a common language cannot be spoken, in time you’ll learn to communicate, and even love one another despite cultural differences.