F.A.Q and Other Adoption Matters
All adoptive families have many questions before and after they make the commitment to adopt a child or children. We will try to answer some of your questions to the best of our ability. You may have many more questions that are not answered here so feel free to e-mail us and help us improve this page.
Why should you adopt internationally?
International adoption generally takes less time than domestic adoption. In most foreign countries you do not have to be on a long waiting list, even though we know there are exceptions due to the numerous and often changing requirements of foreign governments. In most foreign countries adoption is finalized in a Regional court and the adoption is irrevocable.
Are you eligible?
You are eligible if:
-You are of age 25 - 55. Some countries will also accept applicants over age 55.
-Couples and singles can adopt. For a single man it is harder to adopt in some countries, but very welcome in others.
-If you have a completed home study by a licensed agency in the state of your residency and meet the requirements of BCIS.
-You are US citizen.
How long does the adoption process take?
Most adoptions can be completed in 4 - 8 months. Of course there can be exceptions. Some foreign governments may require additional documents or change their requirements. If you have completed a home study and your INS approval before you come to us for a referral, the process may take less time. We cannot give you a precise time frame because there are so many variables.
What is the cost of an international adoption?
The cost of an international adoption consists basically of the agency's program fee which is a fixed amount. For our agency the fee lower if parents adopt a special needs child. Our fee is actually the smaller component of the overall cost of the adoption. The agency's program fee includes the processing of all required US and foreign government documents as well as advocacy and coordination of the placement of the child.
The foreign fee is different for each country according to each country's government requirements and those, of course, can change. Travel expenses and in country expenses also are variable. Basically an international adoption can range from 17,000 - 30,000 depending on the child's medical status, country of origin and other variables.
What about the child's physical and mental health?
No children, not even your biological ones, are always born perfectly healthy. Children who have been living in orphanages since birth will have some attachment issues, may have developmental delays, and may have medical conditions that have been diagnosed or some that have not been diagnosed. In some countries, abandoned or orphaned children are placed after birth in foster homes or in smaller placement centers where they receive more one on one care, more attention and stimulation, which will in turn diminish developmental delays and psychological development. Most countries provide detailed medical information on the children and in some countries parents may request, while there, a medical examination done by a specialist in that country for some additional cost. All children adopted internationally must be tested for AIDS, Hepatitis B, and TB. Before receiving the child's visa to come to US, the child must be examined by a US Embassy approved doctor.
Why are so many children in orphanages?
The primary cause is poor economic conditions. Biological parents are very poor, have no jobs, fertility rates are high and birth control is not affordable. Some religious beliefs will not allow the use of it. Families of these children struggle to survive and in some cases the children will be reunited with their families when their biological parents can financially care for them. Most foreign governments do not want to give up their children because it is an embarrassment to them to open their orphanage doors to strangers. They feel that they should take care of the children in their own country.
Why is travel required?
Adoptive parents are required to travel to the country from where they are adopting their child because the country's laws require them to appear in court with their child. It is also believed by many governments that this is a unique opportunity for the parents to spend time with their child in the country of origin in order to form a connection with the child and to his or her culture. In very few countries an escort is available to bring the child home and so the second trip can be avoided. Adoption Avenues recommends that adoptive parents travel to get aquainted with their child or children before the court date. In some cases the parents may suspect something is wrong with the child and can request more medical information or have the child evaluated while in country. If they definitely decide they do not want to accept the child they can get another referral.
Who will help us when we arrive in the country?
When you get to the airport you will be met by our facilitator who speaks English will accompany and drive you where ever you need to go. These people are very professional and competent. All the arrangements will be made prior to your arrival in the country. Most families find this process smooth and comfortable. You should be prepared for minor inconveniences which can happen on any trip, such as late plane arrivals, jet lag, food orientation, etc. You will have our emergency phone numbers with you so you can reach us 24 hours a day. We would advise you to take a cell phone that can be used in Eastern Europe.
Will our child be a US citizen once home in US?
Yes, your child or children will automatically become US citizens upon their arrival in the US, because of the Child Citizenship Act passed in October of 2000.
Do we need to readopt our child in US?
Yes, in most cases it is necessary to re-adopt, because it is your state requirement in order to have your child's birth certificate issued here in US or for any other paper work your child will need here in the US. Our agency strongly encourages all parents to re-adopt after they arrive home in US.
Why do we need to do post placement reports?
Post placement reports are brief descriptions of your child's life and adjustment in your family, in school and in society. It is required by the foreign country periodically for few years. The post placement reports are done by your social worker and need to be accompanied by photos. The photos are sent to your adoption agency and they will send them to the foreign country to reassure the government that they made the right decision in the best interest of the child and are crucial for the continuation of international adoptions in this country.
How will we communicate with our child after we come home to the US?
This is a very important issue in building a strong bond with your child and makes you and your child more comfortable. These are a few things you can do. Learn some basic words in your child's language and use a little sign language at first. If your child is younger it will be easier for you and for him/her to learn English. The older the child is the harder it is, but as you know children learn new languages much quicker and easier than adults. It is easier for the child if you point to objects and repeat a couple of times, naming the object. Find activities that your child likes and try to combine this activity with learning English. Talk to your child all the time in English and read a lot using books with pictures, sing songs, watch children's programs on TV, draw, have your child play with children his/her age who speak English. Be patient and keep talking with your child in English. He/she will learn quickly to speak this language.
For more information on adoption please feel free to call or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org