The 4 P’s of International Adoption
Adopting internationally today requires Preparation, Paperwork, Patience and Post Placement.
Preparation is the decision making period during which you a) decide on the country you want to adopt from, b) research the requirements for adopting from that country and c) choose an adoption agency that works with that country. You can also prepare by ordering certified copies of paperwork you will need, such as birth certificates, marriage license and divorce decrees.
Paperwork – loads of paperwork – for your adoption agency, your home study provider and immigration. It will seem that some, if not much, of the paperwork you complete is redundant. However, it all goes different places and serves different purposes. The adoption agency is fulfilling their requirements with regard to their agency operation and meeting the requirements of the countries they work with. The home study paperwork is an assessment of your fitness and readiness to adopt as a family. The immigration paperwork is to ensure your readiness to travel overseas and the child’s readiness to travel back with you to the United States.
Patience is probably the most important “tool” required for completing an international adoption. The preparation and paperwork phases are tedious and take time to accomplish. Once those are completed, you will be matched with a child through your agency. Each agency’s methods of matching are different. Then there is the travel to your country of adoption. Some countries require more than one trip; others require stays of a certain length of time; it varies by country. From the point of signing on with an agency to the point of travel is usually between twelve and eighteen months, approximately.
Post Placement takes place after you arrive home with your child. This is a monitory period in which your home study provider visits you and reports back to the agency on the progress of the child and family adjustment. The length and frequency of post placement monitoring depends on the requirements of your county of adoption. The post placement reports being filed in a timely manner also keeps your agency in good standing with the country.
International adoption, while a lengthy process, is also a very rewarding one for many families. The Adoption & Family Support Center is here to help you choose the right agency and country to complete you adoption journey. Your International Adoption Home Study is your first step. We are always available to answer your questions.