Intro and IA Questions — The Bump
Adoption

Intro and IA Questions

Hello there!

I'm Kim. I'm a mommy to an almost 3 year old daughter, and 16 wks pg with #2. My DH is military and we just moved back stateside after living in Japan for 3 years. While there, we had a chance to visit many other Asian countries and were very taken by the cultures and people, as well as the poverty levels and number of kids in orphanages.

We have discussed adopting a third child internationally, but aren't really sure the best place to start. I know there are lots of agencies out there, but aren't sure which ones are legit and which ones aren't. The country that particularly stole our hearts is Cambodia. From what I've found, adoption from there is closed until January (we wouldn't be ready before then anyway). 

Anyway, we'd love to find out more info on reputable international adoption agencies and just the process in general (I've read the FAQ's but there isn't a lot on IA in that). Thanks for the help and best of luck to each of you as you grow your families.  

Re: Intro and IA Questions

  • Welcome!

    We have adopted twice... both were domestic adoption but I have a strong desire (which I think may never be fulfilled) to adopt internationally.  I've read a lot, we recently came very close to signing a contract, etc....so take what I say with that in mind.

    My advice-  choose/narrow down your country choices first.  Things you'll want to consider are age of child, gender preference (if any), length of in-country stay, length of wait to receive a referral, as well as personal qualification (your ages, marital status, and even weight).  Many countries may seem appealing but may not be good options for what you are looking for in an adoption.  For example, we were looking at a particular African country that would require a couple of trips each equaling 14-17 days.  With two little ones at home, we were not willing to be seperated for such a long time so that country was a bad fit for us.

    Once you decide on country (or countries), then start researching good agencies.  You can ask questions

    here
    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • Welcome!

    We have adopted twice... both were domestic adoption but I have a strong desire (which I think may never be fulfilled) to adopt internationally.  I've read a lot, we recently came very close to signing a contract, etc....so take what I say with that in mind.

    My advice-  choose/narrow down your country choices first.  Things you'll want to consider are age of child, gender preference (if any), length of in-country stay, length of wait to receive a referral, as well as personal qualification (your ages, marital status, and even weight).  Many countries may seem appealing but may not be good options for what you are looking for in an adoption.  For example, we were looking at a particular African country that would require a couple of trips each equaling 14-17 days.  With two little ones at home, we were not willing to be seperated for such a long time so that country was a bad fit for us.

    Once you decide on country (or countries), then start researching good agencies.  You can ask questions

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • Loading the player...
  • Welcome!

    We have adopted twice... both were domestic adoption but I have a strong desire (which I think may never be fulfilled) to adopt internationally.  I've read a lot, we recently came very close to signing a contract, etc....so take what I say with that in mind.

    My advice-  choose/narrow down your country choices first.  Things you'll want to consider are age of child, gender preference (if any), length of in-country stay, length of wait to receive a referral, as well as personal qualification (your ages, marital status, and even weight).  Many countries may seem appealing but may not be good options for what you are looking for in an adoption.  For example, we were looking at a particular African country that would require a couple of trips each equaling 14-17 days.  With two little ones at home, we were not willing to be seperated for such a long time so that country was a bad fit for us.

    Once you decide on country (or countries), then start researching good agencies.  You can ask questions

     
    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • Ugh... sorry for the cut off post and multiple posts (I tried to delete two of them but "time expired").


    Anyway, research based on countries.  There are many good IA agencies but they may not have the countries that interest you.  Conversely, if you hear wrotten things about one program at an agency,  I would steer clear fo that agency.  (I have been following Ethiopia adoptions for a year now and there's some not great agencies but people ignore warning signs and then end up w/a mess).

    A few other things...

    Understand Hague Adoption Convention.  Understand risks of not working with Hague countries and Hague agencies (agencies that are accredited to work in Hague countries).  I would never tell someone to not adopt from a non-Hague country.... but understanding why the country is non-Hague is VERY important to understanding the process and how it will proceed.

    Countries will open and close.  It's a risk that you take with IA.  Most agencies will try and preserve your financial investment and enroll you in another country but I have known of a few friends that have lost considerable dollars when countries closed.  There are certain fees that won't be reimbursed since it's money spent.  IMO the countries that have a long standing program (and long waits) are less likely to close than a newly opened country.  (FWIW- countries will close for political reasons, questions of corruption, etc... it's unpredictable.)

    With two young children, I urge you to look at information regarding preserving birth order.  Also, some agencies won't work with you until your youngest child is atleast one. 

    There are really great people resources through different Yahoogroups.  Once you get further ahead in your adventure, YG is a great resource for learning more about your potential adventure.

    Good luck!!

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • "silliest" had a good response :-) we are adopting a little boy from south korea... and we're THIS close to getting our "travel call" to go get him!

      That said, it hasn't been easy. i've known since i was young that i couldn't have bio kids- and always had a heart to adopt from an asian country. I always thought about China... but when i really started researching, something about Korea stood out to me. it is one of the "original" international adoption countries, so there is a good history there. medical care there is as good as it would be here, and they are very through. Also, it seemed like in Korea many of the kids were placed by their birth parents-  so there is a lot of background infor available about the birth fmailies, which i know will be so important for him down the road.

      we decided on Holt International. They are a HUGE national agency that works with a few different countries for IA (Korea is sort of their "main" program). We really liked that they were big, and that they had a lot of resources available. They offer summer camps for as the kids get older, family picnics, webinars to talk about issues adoptive families face. We really felt like they care about the kids' whole lives- not just "here's your cute asian baby, now give us your money" :-)  so they might be an agency worht looking into.

      now- for the tough part. Korea is changing their laws, and limits the number of kids that are placed for international adoption every year (what happens to the other ones, i have no clue :-(  :-(  ) they decrease this limit every year... so it caused a big backlog in the time frames. When we started the process, they were saying about 4 months from "match" to "travel".. HAHA that turned into almost a year (we were matched LAST august with our son) now, instead of bringing home a 1 year old, we'll be bringing home an almost 2 year old (hes 20 months now). hes our son no matter what and we love him already.... but its been the hardest thing to watch him grow up in pictures for the past year :-( Luckily, as I said our agency is great and has been doing everything they can on their end to support us and help bring the babies home.

       All this to let you know that you just never know what might happen in adoption- with IA OR domestic. PLEASE feel free to page me or ask me any questions... as i said, i've known i would adopt since i was relaly young- so i've done TONS of research :-) good luck!!

  • I'm sure you're well aware that Cambodian adoptions have be fraught with issues, and IA from Cambodia has been closed for Americans for quite some time.

    As there are no current programs (and based on recent history, I would not be surprised if the country did not reopen in January), it is impossible to say what country requirements will be. What agencies will be involved when Cambodia does reopen remains to be seen.

    Were I intent on adopting from Cambodia, I would start by trying to find out which of the large, Hague-accredited US agencies (Holt, CHSFS, etc) was planning to start a pilot program. That way, when it opens, you'd have a head start and be able to get information about requirements, process, etc.

    I would NOT start a homestudy or anything prior to that point. Homestudies have to be written for a specific country, and portions of them expire. It wouldn't make sense to invest any time/money if you don't qualify for any reason (the most likely reason being your as-yet-unborn child, and the age of the child to be adopted).

    If you decide to move forward, I would expect a wild ride, as there are no tried and true practices in place. Even with South Korea (which was the first country for IA and from where we adopted) things happen. With a pilot, EVERYTHING will happen. It may re-close. It may be fast. It may be glacial. Basically, everything is up for grabs.

    Hope this helps.

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