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Adopting From Overseas

By Karli Steenkamp

Adopting a child from overseas is an exciting and daunting process. You are considering the idea of adopting a child internationally, but don’t know where to start. According to UNICEF, there is 140 million children that are orphaned in this world. You can make a difference in a child’s life and give them a future. It will be an emotional journey, but well worth it. You can either do a private adoption or do an Intercountry adoption.  

With private adoption, you already know the child you want to adopt through an in-country visit. You don’t need an adoption agency to find you a child, however you will have to find legal help as you go on this journey. Intercountry adoption is a mutual relationship between two countries to help people adopt children in that country. That entails all local options for that child has been exhausted. Adoption has its advantages and disadvantages. It is good to get as much information as possible before you make a decision and start the process.    

It is important to know the advantages and disadvantages around international adoption. A few pros are: 

  • There are so many orphaned children that it will not be difficult to find a child.  
  • If you find a child to adopt, you are basically guaranteed to get that child. 
  • You are aware about what this process will cost you. 
  • You get to travel to a new country and see the culture of the child you are adopting. 

The cons regarding adoption overseas are: 

  • You will not get a newborn baby. 
  • The child’s background and family medical history may not be available. 
  • There can be developmental delays in the child. It can be due to the lack of stimulation or not having proper prenatal care. 
  • Lots of paperwork will be involved. 
  • Travel fees and accommodation need to be accounted for. 
  • It can be a lengthy process. However, if you adopt a special needs child, the process could be faster. Gender and age also plays a role. 

What is the first thing you need to do after making your decision? 

  1. The first thing is to find out if you qualify to adopt a child. You will do this by contacting your state or territory to see if you are eligible to adopt.
  2. If you choose to do the Intercountry adoption, they will send your application to the country of your choice. They will then see what child is best fit for you and your lifestyle. Every country has their own criteria you have to meet before they match you with a child.  
  3. You will receive a Placement Proposal, telling you more about the child you’re adopting. 
  4. You will have to keep in mind that you will travel to meet the child as well as collect him or her.  
  5. A post-placement report will have to be done to see if the child adjusts well to his or her new life. 

International adoption can be costly. The adoption fees do not include any medical treatment or any other assessments the child might have to do. Travel and visa fees need to be taken into account as well. These costs are different in every state or territory. It can range from AUS 3000 – 11 000. These costs will not guarantee finding a child that matches your criteria. As soon as the child is in your care, they will be a permanent resident with all the benefits. 

To adopt privately can be very risky as you are not guaranteed that the child’s visa will be granted even if the adoption was successful. It will be good to get legal advice from both countries involved. 

Adopting is a wonderful way of giving new life to a child. International adoption is a lovely way to see how other cultures live. It does seem overwhelming starting the process and there are cons involved, however, being granted a successful adoption enriches your life and the child’s. If you are interested in adopting overseas, go to Intercountry Adoption’s website and they can answer questions that you might have. You will also see what countries are involved in the Intercountry adoption. Phone your Central authority in your state or territory to find out if you are a good candidate for adopting. It is a well worth it process. 

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