Laws and regulations relating to domestic adoptions change slowly, while adoptions abroad can change overnight. Lynn Ellen Doxon, PhD, thought she had everything prepared for her adoption of two Ukrainian girls. The country changed its adoption laws over the weekend, making Doxon's adoption of the girls impossible. Doxon wrote the book Rainbows From Heaven to catalog this personal experience with international adoption.
"The rules are constantly changing," says Doxon. Online sites such as International Adoption make it possible to review the country's status, whether it's open to adoption or whether its program is closed or suspended.
More and more adoption offices abroad have the Internet, which gives prospective parents the same advantages for international as for domestic adoption—the ability to quickly pass along forms and ask questions via e-mail. Some countries, however, are suspicious of foreign adoption and tend to slow the process, despite the ability to pass on information online.