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Immigration and Adoption- Part I

Many couples choose to adopt from outside of the United States because of the excessive time and expense involved with domestic adoptions. Other factors such as the availability of infants and the health and/ or functionality of domestic birth mothers also play a significant role.

Here are the answers to the most common questions asked by those about to embark on an international adoption.

Do I have a better chance of adopting a young baby if I adopt internationally?

Yes. It is easier to find an infant to adopt. Unless you are lucky enough to be picked by a birth mother in the United States, infants are more readily available in other countries. In a number of countries, it is possible to be matched with or locate an infant shortly after birth and to bring that child home to the United States before he or she reaches one year old. This of course reduces the risk of Reactive Attachment Disorder and intellectual delays caused by malnutrition in infancy. Older children are also more readily available in other countries.

Are the laws more or less stringent for international adoptions?

The laws are more stringent. If you cannot adopt in the United States due to criminal history, lack of financial resources, medical issues- you will not be able to adopt internationally.

Is international adoption more or less expensive than domestic adoption?

International adoptions tend to be less expensive than domestic adoptions. This of course depends on the country you wish to adopt from, whether or not you choose to use an adoption agency etc.

Do I need to hire an immigration attorney?

Yes- unless you plan to adopt from a country which processes a lot of adoptions for example China or Guatemala and you use an adoption agency, you need to hire an immigration attorney.

Which country should I adopt from?

The country which you decide to adopt from will be influenced by many factors. First, what kind of child do you feel most able to parent? Are you willing to consider a child who is of a different race? Secondly, does the country you wish to adopt from allow foreigners to adopt their children and remove them from that country? A competent immigration attorney can advise you on this issue. Additionally, you should consider whether or not your country of choice has enforced the Hague Convention. The immigration process for children from these countries tends to take longer.

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