If you are looking into international adoption, then stick around because in this video, I’m going to answer the question: Do you get to choose who you adopt when adopting internationally? Now this is a question that most folks have, whether they’re adopting domestically or internationally.
There are questions such as “Do I get to pick the gender? Do I get to pick the age? Do I get to pick fill in the blank?” And this can actually make it harder, especially when you’re adopting internationally, just because the international adoption process is so much more strenuous than the domestic adoption process. And so it can just make things a little bit harder, especially when you have those questions and you don’t have answers to it, so we are going to talk about that in this video.
Requirements For Adopting Internationally
Now, adopting internationally requires much more care than when you’re adopting domestically, just because you’re dealing with a different country. And you have to adopt through an international adoption agency. That’s the only way you can adopt internationally. When you look at domestic stick adoption, say if you’re doing a newborn adoption, there are so many ways that you can adopt a newborn. You can adopt by self-matching. You can do private adoptions, adopt through a lawyer, adopt through an agency, all these kinds of things.
But when you’re adopting internationally, the only way you can do that legally is go through an international adoption agency. So you obviously want to make sure that agency that you pick is legitimate, they’re legal, they’re doing things correctly, and they’re doing the work that they’re supposed to be doing. Now, not every international adoption agency can help you adopt from the country that you’re looking to adopt from.
How International Agencies Work
So here in Nebraska for example, Holt International Agency is an agency that helps folks adopt internationally. That do really great work. They help people adopt from specific countries because they have built relationships with those specific countries and with their contacts in country. And they’ve worked with those countries for so long that they’ve just established a really good relationship, so if any other international adoption agency in good standing whose licensed that you’ll work with, should have the same thing. There’s no one agency that can possibly work every single country in the entire world. That’s impossible, because you have to go through licensing with the United States. There’s so much that goes into just being a licensed international adopting agency. So that’s why most agencies just pick a few countries that they work with. Maybe in Europe, Africa, Asia, or maybe a few on each continent.
And they just build those relationships and they really work at sticking with those countries, doing the best that they can and really getting a good relationship going with those agencies and those countries. Now all of this is important because your international adoption agency cannot usually tell you what child you’re adopting. So let’s use an example to illustrate this. Let’s say you want to adopt from Haiti. In Haiti, there’s so many orphanages, just like all the other third world countries out there. There are so many orphanages and there are so many kids in those orphanages and there’s agencies in country who are helping with the legal process of adoption, getting those kids out of those orphanages into families who want to adopt them. But when you think about he daily, weekly life in orphanages, there are children being dropped off and leaving all the time.
On a weekly basis at least, there’s more kids coming and more kids leaving. So in a lot of third world countries, what happens is that parents drop off their kids in those orphanages, because they’re just looking for a temporary safe place for their kids. They just want somebody who can take care of them because they’re not able to. They don’t have money. They have too many children. They’re poor, they’re sick. Mom, Dad is dying. There’s all these dynamics that are playing into it. So the parents will drop off their kids in the orphanage with the hopes that hopefully they can come back and get them. Now what happens is sometimes they never come back, which is abandonment. Sometimes they do. My husband and I work with an agency in an African country where there are parents that have come back for their kids.
And so like I said, it’s not always that these parents drop off their kids just abandon them. They usually do it because they just can’t afford a care for them. So when we just think about that dynamic, it’ll be really hard for anyone orphanage to always have a steady running list of kids who have been there, just because the kids are coming in and out. And so that’s why I say that your agency cannot tell you who you’re going to adopt right away, because they’re going to need to talk to that country and get an updated list of how many kids are there, who is available to be adopted, et cetera. So when you walk into that adoption agency and you say, “I want to adopt a three to six month old baby girl with no special needs from Haiti”, they may look at you like, “Okay, we’ll do the best we can. But we cannot give you any guarantees, okay?”
So that’s why you’ll find that a lot of times, if you go through an agency and you’re trying to figure out do I get to choose the sex, do I get to choose this and do I get to choose that, they may not able to give you a lot of answers. But you’ll get more answers as you go through the process most of the time. So once you start the process, let’s say you pick the country like Haiti. You’re saying, “For sure, this is the country I want to adopt from. You pick the agency. That’s right, that you feel good about, that’s licensed and all that kind of thing. You start the process, you do the dossier, you get everything approved. And Haiti approves you to adopt, the United States approves you to adopt. You’re all good to go.
At that point, Haiti will probably send you a list of …or whatever orphanage that your agency works with, will send you a list of kids that are available to be adopted, so that you can actually get to see faces, medical files and things like that. And then at that point, you can make your decision. “Okay. We really want to adopt this kid. We really want to adopt that kid.” But it’s not something where you just go and pick and choose what you want. When it comes to international adoption, it’s really more like they’ll tell you what they have available, and then you can pick which ones you want to adopt. It’s different than newborn adoption, because it seems like with newborn adoption, there’s this mindset that you can shop around.
Even the children are not things to buy. People are usually thinking like, “Oh well can I just … Want to adopt a baby girl.” The mom doesn’t even get to choose the sex of the baby inside of her. And so I think it’s just not the right questions to ask sometimes, to say, “Do I want to adopt to specific sex?” I understand the desire to want to adopt a specific sex. Let’s say you have four boys. You’re like, “Gosh, I just want a baby girl.” I get that. In our house, we have three boys and I’d adopt a baby girl. But it doesn’t work like that when it comes to adoption. You don’t get to just pick and choose. You can pick and choose, like I said again, when you have a list. So let’s go back to what we were talking about before.
So once you do the dossier and the country send you the list, you can pick the child that you want. But not all countries do that. The Ukraine for example, is one country that you will not know the child that you’re adopting until you fly to that country. They will not send you a list of kids. And that’s unlike a lot of countries, even in Eastern Europe. A lot of countries don’t do that. They will send you the picture, the kids that they have and stuff like that, but the Ukraine doesn’t do that. So I’m saying all that to say that there’s always exceptions the general thing.
Do I get to choose the sex, gender, and age of the child?
So what is the answer to that question? Do I get to choose the sex, the gender, the age of the child that I want to adopt internationally?
The answer is no, not when you’re first starting out. And then maybe, once you are approved and you get all your paperwork done. You may be able to choose a child that they show you on a list if you do get a list.
Now, if you have decided that international adoption is definitely the way that you want to go, but you have no idea where to start, I have a free guide for you that gives you the list of the five most popular countries that people from the United States have adopted from over the past couple of years, really focusing on 2019, especially.
So if you’re interested in that, you can click this link to get access to it. It also includes information about the country, who can adopt, how much it usually costs, just so you can get an idea of the country and if you want to look more into it.
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