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Family Law Blog

Is International Adoption an Option for My Family?

Published: Aug 04, 2017 in Adoption

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

While international adoption is a wonderful way to expand your family, and give a child a safe and loving home, it is much more complicated than an adoption that takes place entirely within the U.S. Any time you seek to adopt a child from another country, you are participating in an international adoption. The other nation may be as close as Canada, yet the process still needs to follow U.S., Pennsylvania, and the other nation’s laws. If you are considering international adoption, you should work with an experienced Pittsburgh adoption attorney to determine if this option is for you and how you can get started.

Call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC at (412) 471-5100 today to schedule an appointment or contact us online.

What You Need to Know About International Adoption

  • Not every nation’s children up are for adoption. Many children born abroad are up for adoption due to their parents being unable or unwilling to care for them. However, you should not assume every nation is willing to allow adoption by Americans or other foreigners. Certain countries like Russia and Guatemala prohibit adoptions by U.S. adults. The U.S. government suspended adoptions from certain countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal due to issues of fraud and an inability to properly investigate whether the children were really abandoned or orphaned.
  • Each nation has its own rules. If you are interested in international adoption, you will need to look into prospective countries criteria and procedures. The eligibility requirements and process for adopting an infant from China will not be the same as adopting an infant from Ethiopia. Another country’s eligibility criteria may be strict, even seen discriminatory compared to rules in the U.S. For example, another nation may not allow members of the LGBTQ community or those in same-sex marriages to adopt a child.
  • It is more expensive. Adopting a child from abroad often includes many trips to the foreign country and a number of fees. If you wish to go through with an international adoption, be sure to discuss the potential cost with your attorney and an experienced agency. Depending on the other country and agency you work with, international adoptions can cost upwards of $50,000.
  • It can take years. Adoption is never a quick process, though it can be done in a year or so within America. However, if you intend to adopt from a foreign nation, you can expect the process to take a minimum of a year and a half. It could also take multiple years before you come close to bring a child home.
  • There is a lot of paperwork. There is a great deal of paperwork associated with any kind of adoption. However, with an international adoption, you can expect the paperwork to feel never-ending. It is important to have a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney by your side to help you through it all.
  • You will need an agency and a lawyer. A successful international adoption is a lot like raising a child – it takes a village. You will need a high-quality, licensed, and accredited adoption agency that is well-versed in international adoptions. You can search for a legitimate adoption agency through the U.S. Department of State. You will also need an experienced adoption attorney like Anthony Piccirilli to protect your rights and help you through the legal process.
  • You can expect the child to have special needs. It is very common for children adopted from other nations to have special needs. This can include physical, psychological, or cognitive delays or disabilities, trauma, language barriers, and/or additional emotional needs in adjusting to life in a new environment. You can also expect to address unique circumstances throughout your child’s life, particularly if they grow up as a minority within the family and community.

Let Our Pittsburgh Adoption Lawyers Help You

The factors discussed above may make it seem like international adoption is not worth the trouble. This is simply not true. There are countless children throughout the world who need safe and loving homes, and you could be the one to give that to them. Despite the unique challenges of an international adoption, it may be the exact right thing for you and your family.

Call an adoption lawyer with Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC today at (412) 471-5100 to learn more about the adoption process and how we can help you grow your family.