Deciding to Adopt Internationally
There are many reasons to choose an international adoption — you feel a connection to a certain country, you would like to adopt a young child but don't want to go through being matched with a U.S. birth mother, you are entranced with the idea of expanding your family to include a child from another country, or you feel a responsibility to step up and make a difference in the life of a child.
To be able to have a successful international adoption, you should be able to answer the following questions:
How will I help my child bridge two cultures and languages?
How will my other children, extended family, and community respond?
What steps will I take to promote attachment and enhance our family's unique culture?
How will I cope with a child who may have been neglected or abused?
All four of these questions can apply to domestic adoptions, but they have a special urgency when you consider that your child will be coming into a completely alien world.
You also must consider your own personality and abilities. Some children who are adopted internationally may be hyperactive, oppositionally defiant, or just simply very challenged if their early days were difficult. Think honestly about whether you are equipped to deal with a child who may have delays or behavioral problems.
Some children from international orphanages may have developmental delays or experience severe attachment difficulties depending upon their ages and experiences. Lack of good prenatal care or use of alcohol and or drugs by the mother while pregnant can lead to difficulties for the child such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or learning disabilities. It is not uncommon for agencies to fail to be completely honest with adoptive parents about a child's history or tendencies, so it is important to get as much information as possible, including expert evaluations of any child you are considering. As a prospective adoptive parent, you do not have to let these possibilities dissuade you from adopting a child; rather, you can educate yourself and enter into such an adoption with as much forethought and knowledge as possible to approach your child's special needs proactively.