International Adoption vs Domestic Adoption

Updated on June 04, 2011
H.J. asks from Fairchild AFB, WA
14 answers

Alot of people have their own opinion on adoption and whether its right or wrong to adopt from another country. My husband is in the military and it always saddens him to see poverty at its worst and children who truly have absolutely nothing. We have made the decision to adopt internationally and have chose to adopt from one of the poorest countries in the world to try and give a child a better life and a chance to live, healthy. No matter what anyone says we are not changing our minds but I wonder where does everyone stand on this issue and why? Should location really be an issue? And shouldnt every child be given a chance at life no matter what race or country they are from? Please no rude comments.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Bloomington on

I know numerous people who have adopted. Most are international, but I know a few domestic. My Aunt and Uncle adopted a little boy from India when he was 4 and he is now 30. I can not imagine life without my cousin, I love him dearly! I don't care where they come from. If you are going to give a child a loving home and opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have, then you are doing a wonderful thing! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Beaumont on

We adopted a 9 month old from Russia in 2002. He came with alot of emotional issues. Somehow I thought if you get them "early enough" you could avoid that, not so. My best advice is for you to become as educated as you possibly can on the potential downside. We were blindsided and I think that made it EXTRA hard for us. While we are still adressing our "issues" I have no regrets. God bless your journey...


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

How could anyone possibly give a rude comment when what you want to do is make a better life for a child?!

Adoption, no matter where it takes place from, is at heart a beautiful thing. I know two couples who have been working with Ethiopia to adopt. One family has their newest child at home with them now; the other family got pregnant with twins before their second trip over, and with the new babies, have decided to postpone. Their process was very regulated and legitimate.

I did peek at your other question, and saw that you mentioned the Phillipines. My adoptive father (my mom's second husband) is Fillipino, as is his family. I always wish I could have gone to visit there with my grandmother before she passed. Adoption takes an open heart and open mind.... sounds like you've got both.:)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I kind of think that international adoption is a form of human trafficking. I hear that U.S. families gravitate towards adopting internationally because it is much easier than the process of a domestic one. With that said, wouldn't one wonder WHY it is easier? Or who oversees the process? When dealing with another country, it is much easier to be scammed or contribute to something you never would if you knew all the details. I am taking an ethics/law in world business class right now, and some of the world trade practices are horrible. In some countries, dead bodies with their organs harvested are being found abandoned in the street, for consumers in our country for organ transplants. Now, I am not saying that the U.S. consumer knew about that, but it made me think of the adoption issue at hand. While the consumer doesn't know...there are many third, fourth and fifth parties at play in these exchanges. You cannot be sure of who you are dealing with. For all you know, these children are stolen from their families or are being sold from the black market.

Now, I am not exactly a fan of the U.S. adoption process either. In fact, when I was pregnant, I came very close to giving up my daughter for adoption. I met with several reputable agencies, and I will tell is a money machine over here as well. I was told to stay on state aid for my prenatal care, while the families who wanted to adopt were also being charged for my prenatal care. There were many other red flags too, that are not in the interest of the bio mom or adoptive family. Apparently newborns are a hot commodity for agencies.

I am not against the entire adoption concept......just against most of the industry that it is now. I don't think one should be able to have a business license to run an adoption agency as a business between private parties like it is now. I think that it is a responsibility that should be kept at a federal and state level, as with foster children.

What is interesting is that all the reasons you mention as to why you want to adopt can be addressed here as well. Our country has children in poverty too. You would be surprised to look up in your town how many infants are uncared for in orphanages. Children that are right there...waiting for a better opportunity too. For me, location does seem to be an issue, because you would turn your back on the children in your own community.

Good luck with whatever you do, and try to do as much research as possible.

UPDATE: Did a little research on the credibility of Holt...thought this perspective on basic human rights was very interesting:

I liked how this passage put it in one of the blogs on this site as well...

"Holt started operations by taking advantage of a humanitarian crisis. Yet long after the crisis was over, they continued to perpetuate their operations by creating a demand for international babies. Long after Korea had become a first world nation, they continue to encourage and promote a market for babies there.

Without this market, Korea would be forced to improve their social services and bring their backwards cultural stigmas forward into the twentieth century, to match their first world status and because they can now afford social programs. It is Holt’s easy presense and the market for babies which provide an easy way out for the government and its citizens. Holt needs to get out of Korea once and for all and let Korea take care of its own."

And in response to Sandy L...YES, I have been doing my research, and YES my eyes are WIDE open, unfettered by the burning desire to have another newborn in my family. I am researching this unbiased, and am not liking what I find:( But I did appreciate your post, you did have some really good points until you started calling other posters ignorant;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Good for you, your family and the child. Who in the &(&* cares where they come from, just so long as you want to be a parent and making life better for all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My point of view on this and on any topic that is related to helping another country out before our own is that you have to "fix" your problems at home before you can "fix the world." Honestly, it does not bother me weather it is international or domestic as long as you love the child and give him/her a wonderful loving home. For me, if I were adopting a child I would start in my community, then my county, then state, country etc. I really hope that you make a choice that is BEST for YOU and your family.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My opinion isn't popular, but here it is: an international adoption runs you what: $20.000 plus including airtravel, hotels, attorneys, home studies and paperwork, visa's and such? Now my question is if you REALLY wanted to just help a kid out, out of the goodness of your heart, wouldn't those $20.000 not be better invested in keeping that child in it's native family, paying for healthcare food and education (that kind of money goes a LONG way in many countries) and thus not only saving ONE child, but also his parents and siblings. Just imagine your money could actually save the lives of an entire family...just a thought!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hi, HAJ--
Congratulations on making the decision to adopt! I have two adopted siblings and they are my REAL siblings! I cannot imagine life without them. I also know a great many families who have adopted internationally and domestically-- considered both options for myself as well. Of course, choosing the right and most legitimate agencies is important, but also consider your long term supports. For instance, you will want to know other families who have gone this route. We have several friends who did international (and domestic) adoptions through Holt. They are quite good and there are other good ones out there as well. When I met with Holt (and that was a few years back), we met other families who had adopted internationally and found that there were support groups of adoptive families who routinely got together for years after adopting. Part of the big issues they faced were for the children of other races. This was a concern for me as well. My siblings were caucasian like me, but one didn't look much like the rest of our family and invariably people would point this out. It was, at times, h*** o* my sister to hear these comments. Imagine what it would be like for a child of another race being adopted into a new country to hear the comments so frequently from other children and their parents. I think that it is all do-able as long as there are good supports in place and that the adopted child knows that he/she is not the only one and can still have supports and relationships with those who share their heritage. Every child needs to feel that they truly belong. Best of luck to you and your husband in this amazing adventure!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

If you are going to adopt, finding the situation that is right for your family is what is most important. What matters is that you are happy as a family with your child/ren.


If you are going to adopt, finding the situation that is right for your family is what is most important. What matters is that you are happy as a family with your child/ren.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

With any "industry" there are bad and good people, agencies, and experiences. I have known many families who have adopted internationally and here in the US. International adoption is NOT easier. AT ALL. Not even close. Yes, there are scammers in international adoption. Yes, there are scammers in domestic adoption. GOOD agencies ARE in the know of who they are dealing with.

The way I look at it...if you are willing to take a child in, who has no parents, no opportunities, really terrible parents, etc...that is a good thing. No matter where they come from. The foster system here is terrible. Children will live in poverty. However, children here will not live in the destitution, desperation, abject poverty and disease that children from other countries live in. You can't "fix" the problem here, and you can't "fix" the problem somewhere else. Parents who are adopting, are not trying to "fix" any problems. They are trying to share their love and give a child more then they had before. They are following their heart's desire. When it comes to loving a child, I don't think it matters one bit where that child comes from. When you decide to love a child who was otherwise unloved, the world is better. You have done a wonderful thing. Hope has been given to a child who might have had none. How in the world location matters, I will never understand. People will always have a judgment. NO ONE should ever be judged for choosing to give an orphan, or unwanted child a home.

I have known several families who have adopted through "Holt." They are a completely legitimate adoption agency. The do international and domestic adoptions.Here is there link, for you to know more and do research.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Because we had birth children, we were not allowed to adopt an infant here through an agency. I was unable to have more children. We had more than one private adoption fall through.
When our current children were older we did try to adopt an older child here in the states with horrifying consequences. We were lied to about the emotional well being of the child (by a well known national agency) and this child should have never been placed with a family.
We had no problem going through an international adoption. Children are children and in his country our son would have been institutionalized for life - at best.
People have asked when after all we had been through, how we knew to pick 'him'. I have always simply replied, "You recognize your children when you see them." I have known since I was a small girl that I would be an adoptive mom and that my some of my children would come from other countries.
There is a shortage of infants here in the United States for couples who wish to adopt. In our son's birth country infants were almost in warehouse conditions. His country does not believe in adopting outside the family.
The biggest difference? We have legalized abortions and that country, 20+ years ago, did not. They since have legalized abortions and now also have long waiting lists for those who wish to adopt.
Our son was given up at birth. Our SIL was left in a ditch as a newborn. There are people out to make a profit off the the pain of others. Holt International is an agency you can trust.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think location of adoption is more an issue for the paperwork and red tape you have to go to or a country you have learned about/have a connection with. There are kids in need all over the world. Thank you for recognizing it and wanting to do the adoption.



answers from Portland on

International adoption gathers criticism from some people because it takes a child away from their natural-born heritage and culture. Some countries won't even allow it, no matter how poor the children are--Zimbabwe is one that comes to mind. It's foolishness to me; we all practically live in a global village nowadays. But I can see the argument for trying to preserve these cultures, lest they be wiped out by the Walmarts and McDonalds of the world.

What is really ridiculous to me is that international adoption is cheaper than US adoption (for babies). My friend who adopted showed me a graph-style sheet outlining where one could get the cheapest baby was unsettling.

Good luck to you and your family.



answers from Pittsfield on

I am so glad there are people like you and your DH in the world!!

My best friend was adopted from Thailand, and sometimes I wonder what her life would be like now if she hadn't been adopted- she sometimes does also. She is married to a great guy, and has a 2 1/2 mo. old DD.

I can't imagine what my life would have been like growing up w/o her. We're like sisters, and spent time together practically every day playing together. Every year our families spent Christmas Eve together.
I feel like my childhood was so much fuller having had her in it.

I pray that we'll be able to adopt some day too. I knew I wanted to adopt some day since I was 6 (a few years before I even met my BFF). That was when my parents took us to see The Rescuers (Disney movie).

I was just looking at the Holt website and reading about some of the children with special needs looking for homes (cleft palate, seizures, cp, heart problems, etc). Wish I could help at least one of them :(

I wish you and your family all the best!!
Blessings :)

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions