I was wondering if anyone would share with me info on adopting from international countries. I am thinking more along the lines of spanish countries, dh is hispanic/mexican. I don't think many agencies work in Mexico but I know they work in others. I was wondering, is it possible to do an adoption IA for under $15,000?
Is it possible to get a child that is an infant( like under 9 mo old)?
What do you think is the hardest part of IA? what takes the longest? Are you able to specify gender or siblings? any information is appreciated! Thanks!
If you want to pm me or email me (my email address is in my signature), that would be great! I would appreciate it!
Results 1 to 5 of 5
02-25-2005, 08:19 PM #1Lauriann in SDRegistered Userhas no status.
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- in the land of infinite variety....
Hope you don't mind me barging in and asking some questions about IA...
02-26-2005, 09:49 AM #2
You asked great questions but the answers are so different depending on the country involved.
I will tell you the hardest part for me, and I think others will probably agree, is any waiting that is done AFTER you know who your child is!
Once you have a little face in mind, you just want them in person.Stacy
Adopted from Russia and China
02-26-2005, 10:00 AM #3foelschgRegistered Userhas no status.
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
You have asked great questions. I agree with the above poster that the answers really varry from country to country.
I don't think many agencies work in Mexico but I know they work in others.
Is it possible to get a child that is an in
What do you think is the hardest part of IA?
what takes the longest??
Are you able to specify gender or siblings
Good luck with all your research!
GailGail, Mom to:
Eric DOB April, 1996
Maia DOB Oct, 2000. Home from Guatemala April 2001
02-26-2005, 01:51 PM #4
I am glad that you came here for your IA questions! This is a great board, with lots of support and a wealth of knowledge.
Both of our boys are adopted from Guatemala. The cost of a Guatemalan adoption is probably going to be closer to $25,000-$28,000. But, remember that there is the federal tax credit, which helps out a lot with the cost.
Our oldest came home at about 8 1/2 months, and our youngest at 6 1/2 months. We chose Guatemala because we were definitely drawn to the Latin heritage, and also because the children were in private foster care while they were in the country. We also liked that the travel time was short - only 3-4 days required, versus several trips, or trips that were for several weeks straight.
For me...the whole process was hard, especially the first time through. I wasn't able to really let myself believe that it would really happen, that I was really going to be a mom. So, I always felt a bit conflicted - I loved this little boy with all my heart, but yet I was so afraid that I would never be able to hold him in my arms. My wonderful friends here at FT definitely helped me through those times - plus, when you see happy endings for others as they go through their adoptions, it helps to ease your fears.
The most important thing is to choose a good, reliable agency. Especially with Guatemala, that can make all the difference in the world as to whether you have a positive experience, or one that is not so positive.
Good luck to you....be sure to ask any and all questions you may have!!Darci
Mom to two Guatemalan blessings..
Morgan, home May 22, 2002
Mason, home June 2, 2004
02-27-2005, 12:41 AM #5sak9645Registered Userhas no status.
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
OK. Here are my responses:
1. Is adoption from Mexico possible?
Yes, but it is likely to be difficult, and you must be VERY careful to work with a top-notch agency.
One big problem with Mexico is that every state in that country has its own adoption rules and requirements. In fact, even some jurisdictions within states have their own rules.
Another big problem with Mexico is that there are, unfortunately, many corrupt people trying to bilk foreigners wanting to adopt. As an example, they may take your money and promise you a healthy baby, but you may wind up with either no baby at all or one with severe and very obvious special needs. Or they may engage in practices that are horrible and unethical, like baby-buying or baby-stealing.
And, alas, there have been some corrupt local officials who want a certain amount of palm-greasing. There have also been officials who, while honest, would put up all sorts of roadblocks.
So it is very important, when adopting from Mexico, to choose an agency that is thoroughly familiar with the requirements in at least one Mexican state, as well as the requirements of U.S. immigration law. U.S. immigration law is very strict with regard to a child's orphan status and the manner in which he/she became available for adoption.
In the past, a lot of reputable agencies didn't work in Mexico because of the problems. However, a few very fine and long established agencies have recently started pilot programs there, because of some new agreements with the Mexican government. As long as you recognize that there are some inherent risks to being a "pioneer" in a country, these agencies may be a good choice.
2. What about other Latin countries?
At this time, the #3 country in terms of adoptions of children by American families is Guatemala. Guatemala is an excellent choice for families who want young babies. Babies are often referred soon after birth, and families may wind up bringing children home long before their first birthdays. Guatemala is also very flexible on things like the age and marital status of prospective parents.
At this time, the Guatemalan adoption program is stable. However, there are strong anti-adoption forces in that country, and there are always pressures for new laws that would sharply reduce the number of children adopted. It is hard to predict what will happen in the future.
Unfortunately, adoptions from Guatemala tend to be associated with higher fees than those from many other countries. It is not uncommon for families to spend $25,000 or more. The main reason is that agencies and facilitators must use Guatemalan attorneys to finalize the adoptions in that country, and sometimes to locate adoptable babies and ensure that birthmothers complete all the necessary relinquishment paperwork. These attorneys tend to have high fees, partly because of demand, but also because they often make all the arrangements for private foster care of the babies and so on.
Very few other Latin countries are open to U.S. citizens, in part because most have ratified the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption, and will not work with countries that have not. The U.S. has passed the legislation necessary for ratification, but is currently enmired in planning for implementation. Ratification is unlikely before 2006 or 2007 at the earliest.
However, it IS possible to adopt from Colombia. Young babies are available, and the program has been very stable. Some fine agencies work there. However, the requirements for parents are strict, particularly with respect to age. It is likely that only married people who are 25-38 or so will be able to adopt infants, for example. And wait times seem to be increasing.
There have been some adoptions from Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama. However, the numbers are small and the programs may or may not be stable. You can get information about these countries from the website of the U.S. State Department and that of the Joint Council on International Children's Services.
3. Are there any countries where one can complete an adoption for under $15,000?
It is unlikely that a person will be able to do a Latin American adoption, through a reputable agency, for under $15,000, including homestudy, USCIS clearance, dossier preparation, agency, country, Embassy, and travel or escort fees. It is unlikely to be possible even to do an independent adoption from Guatemala, which allows such adoptions, for that sum.
It may be possible to do an adoption from Ethiopia for $15,000. There are only four agencies in the U.S. accredited by the Ethiopian government to place children from that country, and they are all good, so this may be an option for you.
Some people claim to be able to do independent adoptions from Ukraine for $15,000 or less. However, there are many reports of families traveling to the country, thinking that they would be able to adopt a healthy infant, only to find out while there that they could adopt only an older or special needs child. Be very cautious in deciding to work with a Ukrainian facilitator or anyone else who promises a healthy infant, within that fee structure.
Some people have been able to adopt from China -- the #1 country from which Americans adopt -- for around $15,000, but these are usually singles, or couples in which only one spouse travels, because of the airfare costs. The typical China adoption for a couple runs about $20-$22,000.
The highest cost country tends to be Russia, at this time. Many people wind up spending close to $30,000.
Do remember, however, that there is a $10,000 adoption tax credit, which you can take after an international adoption is finalized. The full credit is available to most families who have incomes under $150,000, as long as they have at least $10,000 in qualifying adoption expenses. And partial credit may be available if a family makes between 150K and 190K. For further information, go to the IRS website.
4. Is it possible to adopt an infant?
Yes, in some countries, but not all. As an example, Korea and Guatemala both tend to make referrals, in many cases, soon after a child is born. So, even though the adoption and immigration processes may take several months, the children will usually come home before they are a year old.
Some countries require a child to be in a data bank for a period of time (often 3-6 months), before international adoption is permitted, so that members of the birth family, or other domestic families, have first priority in adopting the child. In these countries it is more likely that a child will be at least 10-12 months old, and often older, when adopted.
Still other countries do not allow healthy infants to be referred to foreigners. These countries may allow infants with special needs, or older children, to be adopted internationally.
5. What is the hardest part of adopting internationally?
One of the hardest parts is deciding on a country. Each country has its own process, its own rules, and its own risks. No country is "perfect" for everyone. It is really important for a family to do a lot of homework before selecting a country.
Another hard part is choosing an agency. There are so many agencies and facilitators out there, all claiming to be good at what they do. But only some really are. And even if you find an agency that is honest and ethical, it may not be right for you. So be prepared to do a lot of reference gathering.
Still another hard part is all the paperwork. It is really necessary for a family to be pretty organized and meticulous to put together a dossier, which will meet the requirements of a country. But a good agency will often help a family with certain parts of dossier preparation, or at least provide a good "cookbook."
And, as someone else has said, the wait is pretty difficult. So much of doing an adoption involves waiting. You wait for your homestudy to be started, then completed. You wait for your USCIS clearance. You wait till various components of your dossier arrive. You wait for a referral. You wait for travel. And so on. People who are used to controlling their lives often feel very frustrated when there is nothing they can do but be patient.
6. What part of adopting takes the longest?
For many people the longest part of the process is simply deciding whether to adopt. Whether they need to go through grieving, after a diagnosis of infertility, or to convince their spouse or their in-laws that adoption is a great way to form a family, or whatever, many people spend a couple of years thinking about adoption, before they actually decide to proceed.
Yes, the homestudy process, the USCIS process, the dossier preparation process, the wait for referral, and the wait for travel or escort will all seem endless, at times. But it's actually that very first step that is the most difficult, for many people.
7. Are you able to specify gender? To request siblings?
This depends on the country and, in some cases, the agency.
As an example, Korea usually doesn't let a childless couple specify gender, rarely has siblings available, and does not allow people to adopt two unrelated children at the same time.
Guatemala allows gender selection, if the agency allows it. Siblings may be available, and some agencies may permit adoption of two unrelated children at the same time.
These were great questions! Please feel free to post more.
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