Thursday, January 24, 2008

International Adoption Information

The modern era of international adoption began after the Korean War, when Korean and Amerasian orphans were placed with families living in the United States. Since then, Americans have completed hundreds of thousands of international adoptions. In 2006 alone, U.S. families adopted more than 22,710 children from other countries.

The majority of internationally-adopted children are young; in 2006, 40 percent were under 1 year of age and an additional 45 percent were between the ages of 1 and 4. Children who need adoption are most often from Asia, Eastern Europe, or Latin America.

Typically, the waiting time (and sometimes the total costs) for an intercountry adoption are more predictable than for a domestic adoption. Intercountry adoptions are ususally handled by private, nonprofit adoption agencies. Some agencies that handle domestic adoptions also work in intercountry adoption, although there are many agencies that specialize only in intercountry adoption.

There are special considerations that families adopting abroad should be prepared for. The background and health information they will receive about their child will likely be incomplete and may be unreliable. Frequently, changing political situations increase the uncertainties of intercountry adoption, and countries may open or close adoption traffic without notice. After adoption, for the child to develop self-esteem and pride, family members must incorporate into their lifestyle elements of the child's original culture, including friendships with people of the child's ethnicity. Arming your child against racism is another duty of transracial families. Many families report, however, that embracing another culture is one of the unanticipated joys of intercountry adoption.

International Adoption
Fast Facts
China:
Adoptions in '06: 6,493
Children under 1 year old: 35%
Children 1-4 years old: 62%
Time from dossier to referral
-For a boy: n/a
-For girl: Approx. 18-24 mo.
Est. total cost: $20-25,000

Russia:
Adoptions in '06: 3,706
Children under 1 year old: 20%
Children 1-4 years old: 51%
Time from dossier to referral
-For a boy: 0-6 mo.
-For girl: 6-18 mo.
Est. total cost: $30-40,000

Guatemala:
Adoptions in '06: 4,135
Children under 1 year old: 79%
Children 1-4 years old: 18%
Time from dossier to referral
-For a boy: 0-4 mo.
-For girl: 4-10 mo.
Est. total cost: $25-30,000

Korea:
Adoptions in '06: 1,376
Children under 1 year old: 92%
Children 1-4 years old: 7.5%
Time from dossier to referral
-For a boy: 5-6 mo.
-For girl: 8-12 mo.
Est. total cost: $20-25,000
Ukraine:
Adoptions in '06: 460
Children under 1 year old: 0%
Children 1-4 years old: 53%
Time from dossier to referral: in transition. See more info.
Est. total cost: $30,000+
Viet Nam:
Adoptions in '06: 163
Children under 1 year old (in '02): 77%
Children 1-4 years old in ('02): 16%
Time from dossier to referral: 9-14 months
Est. total cost: $20-27,000
Kazakhstan:
Adoptions in '06: 587
Children under 1 year old: 42%
Children 1-4 years old: 37%
Time from dossier to referral
-For a boy: 0-4 mo.
-For girl: 6-10 mo.
Est. total cost: $30,000+
India:
Adoptions in '06: 320
Children under 1 year old: 8%
Children 1-4 years old: 71%
Time from dossier to referral
approx. 18mos.
Est. total cost: $20,000+
Ethiopia:
Adoptions in '06: 732
Children under 1 year old: 32%
Children 1-4 years old: 26%
Time from dossier to referral
6-24mos.
Est. total cost: $15-21,000

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