A warm and loving home, education, and clean drinking water are a bountiful treasure to kids from some parts of the world, and adopting them will bless their new parents’ lives in return. Yet, many families shy away from international adoption because of perceived costs and risks that may be much smaller issues than they thought. Here are some myths about international adoption to be aware of:
- Only Rich People Can Afford to Adopt Internationally
While it is true that international adoption is more pricey than domestic adoption, there are a number of ways that families with modest incomes can offset the costs, such as the Adoption Tax Credit (which was $13,570 per child as of 2017,) employer reimbursement (offered by many companies,) and adoption grants that you can apply for. You may also want to take into account that living expenses, such as food and lodging, in foreign countries is often much lower than it is here.
- You Will Need To Live Abroad for Awhile
While most countries do require you to travel for a short time to complete an adoption, some, such as Korea, allow an escort to bring the child to the US in some cases. Others, such as India and Hati, request parents to reside in-country for about a week at a time. You do not have to think about the trip as taking up residence elsewhere as much as a short journey where your sight-seeing is your child and the landscape and dining allow you to soak in your child’s heritage.
- Foreign Countries Will Lie About Children’s Health Conditions
Since the Hague Convention of 1993, countries are more diligent about presenting all of the information they have about children’s backgrounds and physical and emotional issues that they are aware of. Many of these are the results of malnutrition and a lack of attention, and adoptive parents see remarkable improvements over the first few months and even weeks after taking home their child. Several American hospitals, such as John Hopkins and the Medical College of Wisconsin, can have a medical professional review the information provided at referral and make parents aware of any potential red flags or preventive measures they can take before accepting a child.
- Single Parents Cannot Adopt
If you are a single parent, domestic adoption can often be difficult, but many international countries welcome single applicants, as they can offer children opportunities they would not have otherwise been afforded. Countries like Haiti, Bulgaria, and India encourage both single men and women to adopt, although there are some age restrictions. Single women can adopt in China and Poland.
- The International Adoption Process is Long And Drawn-Out
The process of international adoption can take anywhere from nine months to three years, which is as long as many domestic adoptions take to complete. As with any adoption, parents need to fulfill a home study and fill out paperwork that will be reviewed, and authorities will match them with a child as they see fit. Some couples find that they begin receiving referrals as soon as their agency sends their dossier to their country’s government. Often, couples take a short trip to meet the child, return home for a few weeks, and return to finalize the adoption and take their child home.