Posted by: eacadoption | 12/28/2010

International Adoption 101 – The Basics

From everyone here at European Adoption Consultants (EAC), we hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year and that you all received everything that you asked for.

During the holidays, we understand the emotional struggles that couples or singles endure when they want to start a family but do not have the means to.  To some, nothing can make the holidays extra special without those little feet running around the house waiting for Santa to arrive, and the look of amazement when they open up their presents on Christmas morning.

However, we do want to remind you that you do have options to start a family whatever your circumstance may be.  Having a Christmas filled with joy and laughter of little ones that you could call your own is possible, and international adoption can be the right solution for you.

If you are considering international adoption, you may be wondering “Where do I start”?  The thought of adopting alone can make anyone a little flustered.

To help you, we would like to share an article from our friends at Adoption.com on the basics of International Adoption.

International Adoption Basics

Typically, international adoption is more structured and predictable than domestic adoption. Though all pre-adoptive parents should learn about open adoption before rejecting domestic opportunities solely to avoid the birth parents, it’s certainly reassuring to know that available children overseas are legally free for adoption, with an extremely low risk of any birth parent contesting custody. International adopters can enjoy the rich benefits of incorporating your child’s cultural heritage into your family life. At the same time, adopting a child from a developing country brings certain risks.

Available Children

Children are available from more than fifty countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and some African countries. No children from Western Europe, Australia, or Canada are eligible to be adopted by Americans.

As the availability of newborns in the U.S. diminishes, more Americans (over 17,000 in 2008 turn abroad to build their families. In 2008, about 75% of foreign children adopted in the U.S. came from Guatelama, China, Russia, Ethiopia and South Korea.

No two intercountry adoptions are alike, and the current top five countries represent a broad range of conditions. In China, for example, infants (usually girls) are abandoned by birth parents who would otherwise suffer penalties for violating that country’s strict population control policies. Severe poverty in countries like Russia and Ethiopia makes it impossible for many families to feed, clothe and house their children. And in South Korea – a well established, longstanding source for American adoptions since the Korean War – unmarried mothers face severe social stigma, whereas women who choose adoption are entitled to substantial financial support.

By the time you’re matched with your child, his or her birth parents will likely be out of the picture for any number of reasons, including family issues (such as alcoholism or abuse), abandonment, poverty, illness or death. Because of the time-consuming, bureaucratic process that’s required, you won’t be able to adopt a child from birth. But nearly half the children adopted from foreign countries are infants under one year old, and almost all of them are under the age of four. If you want to adopt more than one child, sibling groups are available in many countries.

Political and economic changes can abruptly disrupt potential adoptions from any country at any time.

Where to Start?

Taking the first step in international adoption can be frightful, so it’s important to obtain all the information you can on international adoption to see if it’s right for you.  You can always get information on international adoption online, at the library, and of course through adoption agencies.  Many agencies provide materials that explains the process, procedure, and time frame when it comes to adoption.  No agencies are alike, so processes and procedures will be different.  The best way to gain insight on international adoption is to meet those who have already adopted.  EAC provides seminars across the country to allow pre-adoptive parents meet post adoptive parents and their children.

If you are interested in being a part of our seminars, call us at 866-586-5656 to find a seminar near you or click here.  You can also view our seminar listings by joining us on our Facebook page, and click on the Events tab.  Our Facebook page is a great resource to meet those who have already adopted.

We hope you found this information useful and we wish you the best of luck on your journey with adoption.

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