Adoption is a big decision, and international adoptions come with even
more choices. If you're considering an international adoption, the
first question you need to answer is, "Where should I adopt my child
from?" International adoptions can feel like an unending obstacle
course of paperwork and legal complications, but some countries are more
receptive to adoptions than other locations.
Some of the most popular countries for international adoption are:
- South Korea
- The Philippines
A variety of reasons contribute to each country's popularity for international
adoptions. South Korea, for example, is a good choice for many families
because of its efficient adoption process. South Korea's adoption
program is very old. Over time, it has developed into one of the fastest-moving
adoption programs in the world. Like South Korea, China and India have
a longstanding reputation for efficient and reliable adoptions.
In Ethiopia and Haiti, availability is a major factor that facilitates
international adoptions. Poverty, drought, disease, and famine place thousands
of children in orphanages and institutions every year. Because the need
for adoption is greater, the path to adoption is easier than other countries.
Which country is best for your international adoption?
Selecting a country for adoption may seem like an impossible choice, but
a variety of factors can help you narrow down the possibilities. Some
countries, for instance, require adopting parents to travel. In Kazakhstan,
parents must stay in the child's country of origin twice for a period
of five to six weeks. In Ukraine, prospective parents must pass an initial
application process. If accepted, they travel to meet the child and his
/ her community.
Another important factor is age. If you wish to adopt an infant, some countries
are not an option for you. Parents open to adopting toddlers or older
children may have more choices available to them. Ukraine, for instance,
allows international adoption for children 15 months and older, while
children adopted from the Philippines are usually between three and five
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The Unites States is the number-one location for adopting children, but
international research shows that adoption rates are declining. In fact,
the number of children brought to the U.S. through adoption plummeted
nearly 50% between 2003 and 2013. Even still, the United States leads
global rates for both international and domestic adoptions.
If you are considering adoption, retaining an adoption or family law attorney
will make it easier for you to find the right country, navigate its legal
system, and facilitate the process.
Flickr / Steven Depolo