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The Advantages of International Adoption

When a couple decides to adopt a child, they must determine whether they would rather adopt a child from their home country, called a domestic adoption; or from another country, called an international or foreign adoption 1. If a couple feels comfortable parenting a child from a different culture, they can expect several advantages from their international adoption that they would not have with a domestic adoption 1.

Variety of Children Available

According to, there are children of nearly every age and ability available for adoption internationally 1. With many countries to choose from, you are very likely to find a child who matches your wishes in race, sex, age and health status. There may be many healthy infants and toddlers available, depending on the country and the agency being used, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Predictable Waiting Periods

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Waiting periods for healthy babies may be long and unpredictable in a domestic adoption 1. In a foreign adoption, however, you will usually know up front how long it will take before you have your baby in your arms 1. states that the average wait for an internationally adopted child is one year to 18 months 1. This may vary based on the country that you are adopting from, and the age and sex of the child that you have requested.

Uninvolved Birth Parents

Unlike domestic adoption, which offers the birth parents the option of staying in contact with the child's adoptive family, international adoption carries no such possibility 1. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, children in other countries are not freed for adoption unless their parents have abandoned them or died 1. They must be considered orphans for them to be eligible for international adoption 1. Because of these rules, there is no chance that the birth parents can ask for their child back. Be aware, however, that this also means that your child may not be able to find his or her birth parents in the future if the need or desire arises.

Less Uncertainty

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Once you have completed all of the paperwork, including a home study, for your adoption, you are very likely to adopt a child if you pursue an international adoption 1. says that once you are matched with a child, which is done by either the American agency or the agency in the country from which you are adopting, you are almost guaranteed to adopt that particular child 1.