When contemplating adoption, one of the most important decisions a person must make is the nation they want to adopt from.
If you’re a citizen of the United States, should you start a family by adopting a kid from your own country, or should you look into international adoption? Consider all the logistical, cultural, and even ethical implications before making this choice.
As a result, one of the most important considerations for prospective adoptive parents when deciding on a sending nation is how simple or difficult it will be to adopt a child there.
As the adoption procedure varies widely from one nation to another, the time it takes and the amount of money it costs may be drastically affected by selecting one country over another.
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Adoption in the United States may take many forms.
There are three types of adoptions in the United States: private domestic adoptions, foster care adoptions, and international adoptions. There is a common end objective in each case, which is to provide a new home for the kid or children, but the methods used to achieve that aim might vary widely.
Private Domestic Adoption — The cost ranges from $15,000-$45,000 (avg $35,000-$43,000) for a newborn child, and the birth parents may change their minds or want to be engaged.
Adopting a child from a foster family
Parents and extended family members frequently want to be engaged, children are usually at least 6 years old, and there is minimum paperwork and expense (may even be subsidized).
International Adoption — From 18-24 months to toddler/preschool age (the most popular) and beyond, children may be adopted by either gender, with or without the involvement of family members. The adoption process can take up to 36 months and cost anywhere from $20,00 to $60,000.
Why would you want to adopt internationally?
The motives for overseas adoption vary widely. Some people cannot adopt domestically because of a long waiting list, so they look for overseas adoption agencies to help them adapt quickly.
Orphans in less-developed nations are routinely forced into prostitution, child labor, or other dangerous jobs due to their orphanage status. International adoptions may provide a wider selection of children, according to some.
There is a concern that the child’s biological family will be less likely to be engaged. In the United States, courts make considerable efforts to ensure that the child’s biological parents are involved.
Compared to domestic adoptions, international adoptions tend to be more closed, which some parents desire. It’s possible to fall in love with a youngster from a different nation without prior knowledge of their origins.
The easiest nation to move to is…
The sending countries’ special criteria, the prospective parent’s life circumstances, and whether or not they have a certain sort of kid in mind are all factors to be considered. As an illustration:
In certain countries, adoptive parents must wait until a kid is at least five years old before they may bring him or her home. Some countries will not adopt a kid into a household if there are already many children (typically 3-4 or more).
While this may be too much for some couples, some nations only provide special needs children, which is precisely what other couples want. People with BMIs over a specific threshold, couples over a certain age, and notably LGBTQ+ families are not allowed to have children in certain countries (outdated as this may seem in other nations).
Some nations and adoption agencies may at any moment put a hold on their international adoption services for various reasons. Russian adoptions to the U.S. were halted in 2013, for example.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic limited travel to several countries in 2020 and 2021, restricting the capacity of many prospective adoptive parents to complete the required visits and adoption procedures.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, the State Department is fantastic for the latest news on international adoptions.
We have developed a list of the best 20 countries to adopt a kid from (or foster a child from) using various web resources and lists.
Adopting a child is the easiest in the following countries:
It’s important to note that this is not a rating of the best-to-worst products. Because adoption is such a unique process that no two prospective parents are the same, an adoptive family’s greatest match maybe with a nation that is fifth, eighth, or even twentieth on the list.
- Your home country — Adopting one’s nation is generally the simplest option. For example, adopting a kid in the United States might take years because of the country’s flawed foster care system and the difficulty of finding a child available for adoption. Even if you can afford it, you’ll likely obtain more information about your child’s family and medical background, and the chances of him or her being trafficked are nearly nonexistent.
- Kazakhstan — This former Soviet republic is well-known for the wide range of youngsters up for adoption. Undoubtedly one of the most rapidly expanding adoption programs on the planet. Couples and single parents are eligible for the program, requiring in-country visits.
- India — Numerous orphans need homes, from babies to older children, special needs youngsters, and sibling groupings. There are no visits necessary.
- Haiti — More than 200,000 children, many siblings, live in this poor nation. Features a “Waiting Child Program” that pairs parents with older children, siblings, or children with special needs.
- China — One of the most reliable and effective adoption programs in the world. It may need a few trips, but it’s well worth it if you’re hoping to adopt a girl or a kid with special needs. Five-month-olds to seven-year-olds (even older for special needs children).
- Thailand — This Asian country is a popular destination for new parents because of its fast-moving procedures and low expenses. Children ranging from one to ten years old may be placed with healthy married parents in as little as two years.
- Colombia — In one South American nation, prospective parents may adopt orphans between 0 and 15 in as little as six months (though 1-2 years is more likely).
- Malawi — Because the costs (estimated at $28,000-$32,000) are reasonable, the minimum visitation time is short (less than four weeks), and there are no COVID-19 travel warnings in effect as of 2021, adopting an orphan aged 18 months to 15 years is a simple process.
- Taiwan — In this Asian nation, orphans all ages hope to find a family. A wide range of special requirements exist.
- South Korea — Infants as young as six months old and many children with special needs may be adopted via this procedure. Healthy, three-year-married parents between the ages of 29 and 49 are required.
- Bahamas — Many orphans, ranging in age from six weeks to a few years old, live on this lovely island nation.
- Ukraine — At least a month is required for prospective parents to visit. The state, rather than the parents, pick the match. However, the whole procedure may be finished in a year or less.. There are a variety of sibling groupings to choose from.
- Philippines — Although this island nation takes its responsibilities seriously (and prioritizes Christian marriages), it also maintains an efficient system. There are a large number of children between the ages of 3 and 5, many of whom have special requirements, and a trip to the country may be necessary.
- Bulgaria — With one of Europe’s highest percentages of orphans.
- Hong Kong — One of China’s most autonomous regions has its adoption agency. Available youngsters are typically between the ages of one and fifteen and may have various special needs.
- Uganda — Don’t be alarmed by the three-year residency requirement for parents; a court may dismiss it if necessary.
- Honduras — It is good that foster children of all ages may be readily adopted in our nation, where orphans are often in danger.
- Ghana — Even though this African nation prefers to settle children inside its borders, international adoptions may go quickly if a judge gives the go-ahead.
- Burundi — Adopting one of the country’s more than 500,000 orphans is only restricted to couples who are 30 years old or older and have been married for at least five years.
- Ethiopia — Due to many orphans in this nation, the adoption system is effective and in high demand. As a result of recent social turmoil, foreign adoptions will be temporarily halted in 2021.
The downside of international adoption
International or intercountry adoption may be an extremely profitable, especially with adoption costs that can easily reach the tens of thousands of dollars.
While the thought of a child being taken from their birth family by child traffickers is heartbreaking, it is a real possibility in many nations (especially those with high government corruption).
Choosing a trustworthy adoption agency is a great way to guarantee that the kid you are adopting is in need. Additionally, adopting a kid at least five years old may help determine whether the child has been taken away from their biological parents.
What is the Hague Convention, and how does it work?
Finally, the Hague Convention, a collection of regulations and norms established expressly for international adoptions, has been ratified by many nations.
Adoptive parents may choose between adopting from nations covered by the Hague Convention and those not covered by it. Comparatively to non-Hague countries, adoption from a Hague country takes longer.
It requires more paperwork (and perhaps more in-country visits). Still, it provides better protection for both children and parents:
- Fees are more transparent,
- screening is thorough,
- adoption records are kept for 75 years,
- any existing medical information is included,
- and the child has already been legally declared an orphan by the sending country.