The Joys Of International Adoption

By: Isabel Baldry


The decision to adopt is a big one. To take care of a child not biologically yours is, by itself, a complicated life-choice to make. One would think that adopting a child who is also from a different race, a different country and a different culture would make it even more complicated. And yet, every year, thousands of parents make this happy choice and feel blessed by it. What are their reasons? And why should you consider international adoption?

More to Choose From, More to Love

Locally, very few babies are available for adoption. Modern birth control methods and even abortion result in fewer unplanned babies. Often, too, even single mothers are unwilling to give their babies up for adoption. In such a situation, choosing a baby is a luxury you are unlikely to have. Just to get a baby, any baby, you will probably have to wait a long time.

This is untrue with international adoption. Because you have a whole world of babies waiting for your care, you don't have to wait so long, and you can even choose! You have a greater chance of finding your "ideal baby" or as close as you can come to it.

And when your adopted darling grows up, you can tell her in all honesty, "Of course, we love you. We chose you, didn't we?"

It Won't Be a Long Wait

When you adopt from another country, the waiting time is usually just 12-18 months. It may seem like a long time, but that is really nothing compared to the time you've already waited childlessly, and to the three years which is about the usual time local adoptions take.

In fact, considering all the paperwork that needs to be done, 12-18 months is really a very short time.

You're Not Perfect, But That's OK

Because the demand is so great, in many countries you need to pass certain qualifications to adopt a local child:
- Childless couples are first priority.
- Some agencies require you to be infertile.
- It is preferred that you and your mate be twenty-five to thirty-five years old.
- Ideally, you must have no physical disabilities.
- You must be married.

In addition, birth mothers are allowed to specify the kind of parents they want for their child, and they usually choose young, married, educated couples who are well-off and have active lifestyles.

International adoptions are far less prejudiced. Some countries and agencies allow you to have seven other children, you can be fifty years old, and you can be poor. If you will take care of the child and love her better than her real parents did before they went away, international adoption agencies will give you a fair shot and thank you for it.

You Never Have To Share Your Bundle of Joy

Foreign children usually cannot be adopted unless they are legally orphans. This has three very comforting implications for you:
- The birth mother will not suddenly change her mind.
- No biological mother will ever try to take your bundle of joy away from you.
- It is much less likely that your child will try to leave you for her biological parents when she grows up.

When it comes to custody, a foreign adoption is virtually as safe as bearing the child yourself.

Your World is Enlarged

When you adopt a child from another country, inevitably, you adopt not just the child but also the country. You learn to love another country as much as your own, simply because it is where your child was born. You are gently constrained to learn another country's culture and history so that you may teach it to your child. Her natural heritage becomes your natural heritage. Her people become your people; strangers from her country automatically become your friends when you meet them in the streets.

And when you are stumped on where to take your next exotic vacation, there is now an easy answer.

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Isabel Baldry is a freelance writer who writes passionately about a number of subjects. Learn more about international adotion here.

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