Intercountry Adoption and The Hague Convention
Intercountry adoptions are intended to offer the advantage of a permanent, suitable family to meet a child's needs when one cannot be found in his or her country of origin.
Intercountry adoption is the process by which you adopt a child from a country other than your own.
International adoption over the years has changed, and the profiles of children needing homes have changed. The children most requested by adoptive families habitually resident in the United States are healthy infants. Children with special needs, older children and sibling groups are typically more available for international adoption.
Families that are habitually resident in foreign countries, wanting to adopt from the United States are typically also seeking healthy newborn children. We are tasked with the effort to find a family within the United States first, and, after all efforts are exhausted, only then under The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect to Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) are we permitted to place the child in a foreign country. Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. is only accredited to place children into the Netherlands and Canada.
OUTGOING ADOPTIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES
Families that are habitually resident in foreign countries wanting to adopt from the United States are typically seeking healthy newborn children. We are tasked with the effort to find a family within the United States first, and, after all efforts are exhausted, only then under the Hague are we permitted to place the child in a foreign country. Many of the situations in which we ultimately place a child internationally, are those where we see significant drug use in-utero and mental health issues in the birth parents. We work very closely with our foreign supervised providers prior to matching with a family.
INCOMING ADOPTIONS TO THE UNITED STATES
International adoption over the years has changed, and the profiles of children needing homes have changed. The children most requested by adoptive families in the United States from foreign countries are healthy infants with minor correctable medical issues. However, domestic adoption in foreign countries is becoming more socially accepted, enabling more children to find adoptive families in their birth countries. Children with special needs, older children and sibling groups are typically more available for international adoption.
Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. provides international home study services for families seeking to adopt from a foreign country. We have supervised provider contracts and exempt provider contracts with numerous primary placing agencies. Families requesting these studies are typically looking to adopt children that are older and sibling groups from foreign countries or have significant special needs.
In order to maintain compliance with the Intercountry Adoption Act and Hague Regulations, upon request we will provide the following documents to you in sample form. The samples are substantially like the documents you will be required to sign. Hard copies of each of these samples are available upon request.
- Disclosure and Quality Control Practice
- Sample Adoption Services Agreement
- Sample Waiver of Liability Statements
- Sample Grievance Policy
- Confidentiality Policy
- Manual for International Adoptions
Process for Incoming International Adoption
Choose a Country/Program
In order to begin the international adoption process, you must first decide on what country you want to adopt from as each country has specific requirements.
Choose a Placing Agency
Your placing agency, also referred to as a Primary Provider, is the agency responsible for placing the child with you.
Begin with applying to a Primary Provider and once accepted proceed with next steps of the international home study or application process.
International homestudies are tailored to the specific requirements for the country of origin of the child.
Prepare the Dossier
In combination with your Primary Provider, you will be given originals of your home study, agency license, and any other required documents needed to submit your dossier.
Apply for USCIS Approval
You will submit your dossier and obtain your initial approval to proceed with international adoption by obtaining the required Visa.
Wait and Prepare
While waiting for a referral for a child, take this time to educate yourself more on the traditions, food, culture of the country of origin of the child.
Your Child Referral
Once a referral for a child is received, you will need to evaluate the situation in the allotted time frame and decide if the referral is the appropriate match for you.
Meeting your Child
Once you accept the referral, you then begin the adoption process in the foreign country which may or may not include meeting the child prior to finalization.
Finalization of Adoption/Recognition
Your adoption will either be finalized in the country of origin or in the United States. If your adoption is finalized in the country of origin, then upon returning to the United States it is recommended you have it recognized in the United States. If the adoption is not finalized in the country of origin, then upon returning to the United States you will need to finalize it in the United States. If you are a Florida resident, our legal team may be able to represent you.
Once you return to Florida, most countries require post placement supervision. This includes visits to your home, a written report and photographs. These are completed at scheduled intervals according to the foreign country’s requirements.
Acquiring US Citizenship
If your child did not automatically receive citizenship upon arrival in the United States, then you will need to either finalize the adoption in the United States or have the adoption recognized , depending on the facts of your case, before you can apply for US Citizenship for your child. This is the final and step for an incoming international adoption.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION
The total length of time to complete an international adoption varies, but on average can be completed within about 12-36 months.
International adoption fees vary depending on the country from which you are adopting. Total expenses can range from $35,000-$55,000, excluding travel and accommodations.
Each country has their own specific eligibility requirements as to health and mental stability, that may prevent someone from adopting.
Yes. In fact, a large percentage of families who adopt internationally already have children in their homes. The country of origin, home study agency, or placing agency may have policies in place that limit the number of children already in the home when adopting. Please contact us at (866) 432-7860 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for information specific to your family.
The first step to begin the process for international adoption is to choose a country of origin and contact a primary provider that has a program in that country. If you are a Florida resident, contact us for a Homestudy at email@example.com to initiate the process.
Travel to your child’s country of origin is required and is an important step of your adoption as it begins the process of bonding and attachment with your child. In some cases, only one parent is required to travel. Length of travel and number of trips vary from program to program.
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Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc.
Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is Hague Accredited to complete international adoptions. In addition to international work, we promote adoption education through our dedication to assisting families facing an unplanned pregnancy by providing resources and support. Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. also works to provide grant to families needing assistance with the costs of adoption, when possible.