International Adoption - Looking to Hear from Those Who Have Done It

Updated on September 18, 2010
C.L. asks from Salt Lake City, UT
4 answers

Hello! Thanks in advance for any information you can give me. I have two beautiful boys but would love a little girl as well. Short of major scientific intervention, I think the best way to go about doing that is adoption. I have read about both domestic and international adoption and am leaning towards international, but it seems so hard to sort through all of the information.

My questions are this. How did you decide what country to go with? How long did the entire process take (from start until the baby/child was brought home). What age was your child when you brought him/her home? Was there a big transition for the child if he/she was older? It seems that with many of the countries I am interested in, by the time your child comes home, the youngest age would be around 18 months. I guess I'm concerned that being raised in an orphanage until the age of 18 mos could produce some behavioral problems?

Thanks so much. This can seem a bit overwhelming when you're just starting out!!

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answers from New York on

WE adopted thru international adoption and it was so wonderful for us that I want to tell everyone to do it! However, we ended up with an infant we were able to visit and then bring home at six months so there was virtually no adjustment period. Yes. adopted children over six months WILL either be dealing with the trauma of leaving a loving foster home where they thought their caregivers were mommy and daddy and called them by that OR they will have issues from being in an orphanage -some more than others. Read everything you can get your hands on, I can suggest books, and join internet forums. and think and decide what you can handle. Prepare for the worst hope for the best. Every child is different and reacts to their circumstances differently, things could go smoothly but you have to prepare and research. (of course Biological children can also have unknown health issues and behavioral issues like ADD and ADHD and Aspergers as well) in some ways there are less surprises in adoption. Because you already are a parent you have a better idea of what you can and cannot handle and you now that there are no guarantees. as i said we ended up with the perfect child (I'm not biased!) which was good cuz my biological son has his own issues. NO child should have to grow up in an orphanage so I wish we could all adopt and I wish it was easier and less expensive to adopt! feel free to ask more questions...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would suggest that you speak with several international adoption agencies and research the topic. We have adopted twice from China, one child at 17 months and the other at 6.5 years old, both of which had been in orphanages for (most of) their entire lives. There was an adjustment period for both that was very different, but really after the first 6 months or so, most issues were pretty settled. I can't imagine there would not be an adjustment period for a domesitcally adopted child, quite frankly, as they are too put in a new house, with new expectations, etc. If you want to adopt a very young baby, international adoption may not be for you. And, like the other responder said, you do need to prepare for the worst and hope for hte best. There are way too many children in the world without a family, so . . .Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I wouldn't discount your social system and local church-based agencie. Lutheran Services, Catholic Services, and your county services may be good places to start. That said, that's where we started and in the end, we adopted our middle child (son) from South Korea. Lots of domestic charitable agencies weren't interested in us - because I was too old, too fertile, had a bio child all ready...

BUT the main reason we went w/ S. Korea was because my husband was adopted and S. Korea's practices matched up with how my husband thought adoption should be handled. Who would I be to argue with my adoptee spouse about that!?

It took about 6 months to referral, then 6 months more to bring him home to us. The referral wait would be longer for a girl, because most adoptive parents ask for girls, if they have a choice. And the process is taking a bit longer now for other reasons. But after referral, wait times are fairly predictable.

Children in S. Korea are in foster homes (as are SOME children in China), and are VERY well cared for. Our son was 11 months old when he came home and had a very diificult transition - from his point of view, it was as if we'd stolen him, and he acted accordingly. He put up a FIGHT- biting, kicking, hitting, puking on, well, ME mostly - & he wouldn't let his Daddy put him down for weeks.

He's well bonded now, a little over a year later, and is a lovely child, but is temperamental and has several tantrums/day. It's getting better, and he's only 2, so we're in tantrum territory as it is. This is a child who was in an orphanage for, at most, 3 days and who was deeply loved in his foster home. But a lot of it is his temperament.

Like with bio kids, you get who you get and temperament can really affect adjustment, regardless of where the child spends her first months. Fortunately for us, his big brother has a similar temperament or we would have been completely at sea. So - it's been harder than I could have imagined. But I can't imagine NOT having him in our family either!

Still, after all I know now, if I were to adopt again, I'd look harder at the US - if only because the child wouldn't have to deal with the stress of EVERYTHING being different (how people look, smell*, speak [*because the food is different]). Not all children in foster care are at risk adoptions and not all were abused.

But you have to do what's right for YOU. Honestly, you may just "know" -deep in your heart - when you find the right way to go.

Whatever you decide to do, don't rely on your agency for all of your information. Join a yahoo group (or something) of parents who have adopted in the way you decide is right for YOU so you can get a good idea of how to prepare yourself and your sons, as well as what to expect with your daughter.

Best of luck to you!

This is the agency we went through:



answers from Denver on

I don't know a lot about this process. I head Ethiopia is the fastest and cheapest.
The downsides are that you probably won't know a lot about the history of the child and how long they have been in an orphanage, or under what conditions. This has a long lasting effect on the emotional state of the child. It's very important that you go through a country with excellent record keeping and a good reputation.

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