With a severe shortage of babies to adopt at home, many people are considering the possibility of adopting a baby from overseas. Adoptive parents are much more likely to be able to adopt a baby or toddler from overseas than at home.
Overseas adoption should never be thought of as an 'easy option' - far from it. Each country has its own set of adoption requirements, plus expenses involved.
But who could fail to be moved by the images of neglected babies and toddlers in state orphanages in the former Soviet Union?
What about the plight of toddlers in Afica were much of the adult population has been affected by AIDS or famine, the images of toddlers picking through rubbish piles looking for food is heartbreaking.
A natural first instinct is to jump on a plane, bring them all home and love and care for them.
But its not as simple as that. If only.
The requirement of overseas adoption can vary greatly from country to country. Most countries require prospective adoptive parents to first get approval to adopt, in some the approval can only be received from a state agency. Don't assume that because you meet the adoption criteria at home, you will also meet the criteria for overseas adoption. Many overseas countries are not as 'forward thinking' and liberal as at home often not allowing same-sex couples to adopt, or single parents, or even unmarried couples. Do your research on the Internet or find a specialist oversease adoption lawyer that can guide you through the process.
When considering overseas adoption don't forget there might be extra costs involved to adopting at home. Two or three trips to the country will almost certainly be required. Some countries ask that you spend several weeks in their country to become familiar with the culture and way of life, to be able to pass this on to the child as he gets older.
It is worth considering hiring a specialist overseas adoption lawyer, while these don't come cheap, it may be an advantage to have someone who is familiar with the country's adoption policy. Plus there may be extra costs for interpreters and translation fees.
Once all the overseas adoption process is completed, there is still more red-tape to deal with to bring your baby home. Immigration formalities need to be completed before the adoption can be considered legal.
Overseas adoption may be the answer for many adoptive parents, but needs serious consideration. It carries extra expense and extra red-tape.
It cannot be done 'celebrity-style', who seem to just pop into an orphanage while on holiday and come home with a baby!
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