Start with what feels right to your family. It will be your job to help raise your child
proud of his heritage, so pick a country/area whose culture you enjoy and want
to share throughout your lives.
Once you have it narrowed down, turn to the US Department
of State's website, which lists the requirements to adopt from each country (http://adoption.state.gov/). Adoption programs can be very volatile, as
they are dependent on the laws of multiple countries/compacts, diplomatic
relations, public perception, etc. There’s
a lot of places where less than ethical adoption practices have been unearthed,
so do your research. You don’t want to
adopt from a place where suspicions may be raised about baby stealing/buying,
nor do you want to start the process from a country that will drastically slow
down their process or close entirely, in the wake of such claims. Pay particular attention to the UN/UNICEF and
other international organizations are saying about adoptions from any country
you are considering. They have
unbelievable sway with governments and can effectively shut down adoptions
overnight (like they did from Haiti).
Once you find a country that you love and whose adoption
procedures seem beyond reproach, double check against that site above to make
sure you meet their criteria. If you do,
you probably found your country. Go
ahead and find an agency that has a strong program in that country.
There are some great agencies that have some really strong programs in
countries they've been working in for some time...and some fledgling programs
in countries that are new to them. Even
though these agencies are generally highly recommended, their newer programs
may not work as well as those that are more renowned, because they haven't had
the time and experience to figure out all the kinks, establish strong contacts,
and become aware of all the pitfalls.
It's also a good idea to find an agency that has a strong program in
more than one country you are interested in.
That way, you should be able to transfer to another program with limited
difficulty or cost if your country slows/shuts down its adoption program (you
should make sure of this when interviewing agencies).