When considering adding to your family through international adoption, the idea of navigating the laws and regulations of a foreign government can seem daunting and overwhelming at first. Whether you are considering international adoption yourself, or are interested in supporting those who are, here are three things that may be helpful to understand about the international adoption process:
1. It can be expensive.
This may not come as a surprise, but adopting internationally can prove to be a quite expensive process. This is due to many elements, including federal documentation processed through the United States, the need to complete a home study, medical exams, adoption agency and/or attorney fees as well as country-specific fees once you travel to complete your adoption. Many fees depend on the specific country you are adopting through and can range based on the type of program. Travel costs are also a factor as most countries now require that parents travel more than once.
2. It’s often a slow process.
The international adoption process can be full of long periods of waiting. Depending on the country, the waiting process for international adoption can range from 1 to 4+ years. During this time, the family must meet a variety of different requirements and, if the process is long enough, may require the renewal of paperwork. Many countries have a long and very established history in their adoption program and will likely have a fairly predictable waiting period. Others are much closer to the “pilot” stage and can be much less predictable. As you consider adopting internationally, check with a reputable agency to find out what programs are available and what the wait is likely to look like in the process.
3. It may bring with it unique challenges in the areas of attachment and healing.
Whether entering their family by birth or adoption, a child’s ability to form healthy attachments is influenced by their own experience of early life. For children impacted by early trauma or institutionalized care, the attachment process may become more challenging or prolonged. By taking the time to learn and understand these influences, families can do much to help their child once they are home — to help them heal and form healthy attachments. The work to form strong and healthy attachments may prove difficult at times, but the investment will hold a lasting and beneficial impact in the life of your child and his/her future relationships. Through events like Show Hope’s Hope for the Journey Conference, local support groups, and a greater number of doctors and therapists specializing in attachment issues, the resources available today for attachment-based needs are greater than ever before! For some children, the journey may prove long and tumultuous, for others it may seem effortless, but for all, the journey to attachment and healing brings great hope.
The work of orphan care is not just for those who feel called to adoption. Show Hope exists to help every person fulfill God’s command to care for orphans. Everyone can do something and we hope to empower you to discover what YOU can do! Are you interested in becoming a Show Hope Sponsor? Are you interested in learning more about Hope for the Journey? However you decide to get involved, there is great hope and we can’t wait to partner with you!