One reason many adoptive parents opt for adopting a child from a different country is the fact that, even though any adoption runs the risk of some uncertainty, it is often more predictable than domestic adoption. Meaning, the waiting period is easier to determine and generally runs anywhere from one to three years depending on the country.
This is especially true in regards to adopting an infant, as there are younger children available for adoption in other countries than domestically. Some statistics rate that in some countries almost 45% of children available for adoption were less than twelve months old. Conversely, in the United States, almost 42% of children available for adoption are between the ages of one and four years old.
Most of the countries that are open for international infant adoption are the developing nations in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central and South America. Each country has different adoption rules and prospective adoptive parents find it useful to educate themselves about these rules prior to choosing a country to adopt from.
Couples will find the ages of infants available for adoption internationally will vary greatly depending on the country chosen. It is not uncommon to find the age variant to range from just a few months old to upwards of 16 years of age. Many of the countries require that an attempt be made to place the child with a family in the country prior to placement with a non-citizen couple. In addition, children below the age of four months are generally not allowed to be adopted internationally by the sending nation.
Most countries will require the adoptive parents to make at least one, if not many visits to the country itself prior to selecting them as potential parents for a child available for adoption. This must be taken into consideration as it can often raise the costs involved with adopting an infant to proportions that may be out of the financial reach of the couple.
When taking into consideration what country to adopt an infant from it is also a good idea to begin researching adoption agencies to help with the adoption process. Time must be taken to research all available adoption agencies to be sure the one chosen is experienced, reputable and licensed with a good license standing their respective state of licensure. The correct adoption agency should be willing to help with every small step of the adoption process, including: helping parents become adoptive parents, aid in the paperwork, verify all legal matters of the adoption are handled properly and provide support after the infant is brought home.
After choosing an agency prospective adoptive parents will then need to go through a similar procedure as those opting for domestic adoption. They will need to have a complete home study done, have interviews done and provide health documents. In addition to these requirements, they will also have to meet the eligibility requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Finally, before being matched with an infant for adoption adoptive parents will need to put together a package of their personal documents. This package is called a dossier and will contain pertinent records relating to identity, finances, marriage licenses, health statements, criminal background clearances, proof of employment and personal references.
After completely the preliminary steps to adopting an infant from another country the adoptive parents need now, only to wait to be matched. The process may seem drawn out, lengthy and at times confusing but the rewards adopting a child via intercountry adoption will be endless.