International adoption is a large step for anybody. What many people don't realize before they start the process is precisely how complicated it can be. One of the things that people can do to prepare themselves for the process is leave behind the myths and preconceived notions that many have about international adoption.
1. You Cannot Adopt From Everywhere
Some people are under the assumption that it's possible to adopt a child from anywhere in the world. Not all countries have adoption programs. Even among the countries that do, it's still not always possible to adopt a child.
For example, one country may have an adoption program, but not an international adoption program. Or, they may have an international adoption program, but it's either not open to the US, or there are strict eligibility requirements that you don't meet.
The US Dept. of State has a feature that will allow you to check adoption processes by country. It's important that you understand these processes if there's a specific country you would like to adopt from. In almost all cases, you will only have the ability to adopt from a country that is a part of the Hague Convention (or uses it as a guideline).
2. The Price of International Adoption Varies
Many people automatically assume an international adoption will cost far more than a domestic one. The fees associated with adoption vary in general. An international adoption will not eventually cost you any more or less than a domestic adoption. The factors that constitute the price involved will vary depending on several things.
- The adoption agency
- The attorney or professional you use
- Possibly birth parent expenses
- Where the adoptee comes from
- The administrative services you use
Your expenditure will vary. Even if you go by general cost breakdowns, you can still fall far above or below the average cost.
3. The Length of Time the Process Takes is Slow (or Fast)
You may hear that international adoption is an exceptionally slow process. You may also hear it's a far quicker process than many types of domestic adoption. That disparity should show you the truth of the matter. The process takes as long as it takes.
There are any number of things that can speed the process up or alternatively slow it down. This also applies to the ease of the process, which also can vary widely in extremes.
Always Seek the Facts
The myths about international adoption are plentiful, but they're only a small subset of the many myths about adoption in general. Don't assume anything when it comes to adoption. Do your own research and speak to those who know. Check with an adoption agency (check websites like http://www.achildsdream.org) to see how the process works.