With all the improvements in today’s society such as marriage counseling, financial assistance for single moms and medical science, the number of children who are put up for adoption by their natural parents, whether abandoned, or orphaned, are declining. It is definitely a blessing in terms of the lives and families saved, but this fact is a problem for couples looking to adopt a child. For this reason, many couples/singles have turned to foreign child adoption or international adoption as a means of finding a child they can raise as their own. There are a lot of questions running around regarding foreign child adoption policies, and I would like to offer some answers to the most frequently asked ones.
Q. Will local or foreign policies apply for the adoption?
A. Foreign child adoption laws will apply for the child only. As far as the American legal system is concerned, an international adoption is a private agreement between the adoptive parents and the foreign country where the child is located.
Q. What are the pros and cons of domestic and international adoptions?
A. The only real factor that favors international adoption is that it allows local adoptive parents an additional means of finding a child to adopt when there is a domestic shortage of potential candidates. Otherwise, the three factors of distance, citizenship issues, and having to follow foreign adoption policies often make international adoption more difficult.
Q. What are the most popular countries for child adoption?
A. Probably because of media influence, there are two general types of countries, which are prime candidates for US citizens to seek an adoptive child. One is impoverished nations, and the other is post-war torn nations. In both of these cases, the usual accepted rationale is that the adopted children will be able to find a much higher quality of life in the United States than in their native homeland.
Q. What citizenship issues will arise from the adoption?
A. Usually, the answer is none. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 granted automatic US citizenship to foreign child adoptions, provided three factors are met. One, at least one adoptive parent must be a US citizen by birth. Two, the child must be under 18 years old. Three, all adoption procedures are finalized, legal, and binding. If all three factors are met the child is granted immediate US citizenship upon adoption.
Q. What about Health Concerns and foreign diseases?
A. The adoptive child will have to undergo medical testing and vaccinations before being brought to US soil. The testing is conducted by certified local medical groups in the child's country. If any medical problems are detected that would normally interfere with obtaining a US visa, the parents are given a chance to rescind their adoption offer or continue with the adoption however, sign waivers with US immigration stating that they are aware of the facts of the child's medical condition.
Q. How do I avoid international adoption fraud?
A. Between the rising demand for child adoption and the usual greed of criminals, it's all too easy to get scammed by groups posing as international adoption agencies. The US consular office in the foreign country where you are planning to adopt a child will have a list of the most reputable agencies that you can contact there.
Q. How do I avoid citizenship issues arising after adoption?
A. Local state laws may actually choose to challenge your adoption even after you have met the demands of the foreign country's adoption laws. This is because the law in some states do not approve foreign laws for adoption as legal and binding on US soil. Because of this, it is recommended that you perform a re-adoption once the child is on US soil, this time following local state adoption policies.
Q. Is traveling to the country of my potential adoptive child recommended?
A. Yes, to take care of any local legal requirements for the adoption. However, do this only if proper precautions have been taken. As stated earlier, some groups actually run scams, and given that the favored countries for adoption are impoverished or war-affected nations, the potential for criminal or terrorist activity from a scam group is high. Check with the US consular office in that country before planning to head overseas to make sure that everything is legit.
Connie McKenzie is a part-time work at home mom. She has two beautiful adopted girls and a wonderful husband. My site offers foster care and adoption information, as well as lots of useful resources for those wishing to adopt a child. Child Adoption Matters because as her daughter says, "Child adoption does matter, mommy!