International Adoption: What You Need to Know
A Little Background Music, Please
According to the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, in 2006 American families adopted more than 20,600 foreign-born children. What a banner year! With thousands of children from Russia, Romania, China, India, Central and South America seeking permanent homes, and more than 600 international adoption agencies in the United States just waiting to help, the dream of becoming an adoptive parent is more accessible than ever. You may have heard foreign adoption horror stories, and while it’s true there is little that the US government can do when things go wrong, since it’s a private legal agreement, most foreign adoptions are successful.
The process can be overwhelming for many couples, however—what with the copious paperwork involved and foreign laws that seem to change on a whim, not to mention dealing with language and cultural barriers and the uncertainty of traveling to a far-off country. Often little, if anything, is known about a foreign baby’s family history or health, further adding to an adoptive parent’s anxiety.
Your best line of defense? Learn as much as you can about foreign adoption, take a deep breath, and approach the experience with a sense of adventure and humor. It will happen. Just remind yourself that all good things are worth the wait.
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