May 18, 2007, Newsletter Issue #99: Disadvantages to International Adoption

Tip of the Week

There are some disadvantages to international adoption. Children adopted internationally are not infants. The children who are adopted are usually under one year of age, but can be as young as three or four months of age depending on which country the parents are adopting from. There may be little information about the child's birthparents.

Although the child's medical history will be accessed during the adoption process, little medical information about the birthparents may be disclosed. Also, the birthmother may or may not have had good prenatal care (risks are different for varying countries). Also, the child will usually not be able to trace his or her birthparents (depending on the records maintained by the specific country).

Children who have been living in an orphanage are at risk for developmental delays, though they generally catch-up once they are placed in a loving home. Most, but not all, countries require travel to the country to complete the adoption. Depending on the country, parents may need to travel multiple times and/or stay for weeks. Adopting parents should be aware that international adoptions are paperwork intensive, which although not difficult, can be time consuming and frustrating.

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