International adoption involves taking up children from foreign countries mostly from underdeveloped countries or countries with social problems and living with them in another country mostly a developed country. The phenomenon has been on the increase in the US and other westernized countries. Probably due to low birth rates, cultural preferences and an increase in the number of same sex relations that cannot reproduce. There are a number of procedures which individuals have to complete in order to be legally bound.
Some of these procedures include; deciding on a country and an agency, doing a home study, making a dossier, doing an assignment, traveling to the country where the child will be adopted and completing all the necessary paperwork and finally traveling back to one’s country of origin. In addition to these requirements, potential parents are required to disclose a lot of information about their background from their education, finances and their health. Also, the trips involved are many because some countries require adopters to know the child they want to live with.
(Deborah, 2006) Net outcome of international adoption Intercountry adoption has gained a lot of popularity because there are plenty of children in adopting countries who have been orphaned or those who are in need of a family. These countries have experienced prolonged civil wars. A country like Rwanda in Eastern Africa suffered for years under a genocide that saw the death of many adults. This left most of their children alone and some of them had to fend for their younger siblings. International adoption provides a solution to such a crisis in countries like these.
Natives within those countries may not have the financial and social ability to take care of their own orphans. It is quite possible to find one adult taking care of around ten or eleven children. Such parents will not even consider adoption as an option because they have more than enough problems of their own. But parents from westernized countries have the economic capability to take on an extra member in their home. There’s a humanitarian side to it; when a parent knows that they are giving a child a better life than they would have had if they stayed in their country of birth.
All in all, international adoption has led to a slight decrease in the number of orphaned children found in developing countries. (Deborah, 2006) The process of adopting foreign children is not tedious, except for the paperwork involved. Cases of competition or adoption grants to the most lucrative family are not a common phenomenon here. There is a wide variety of children to choose from coming from numerous parts of the world. (It should be noted however that the countries involved are usually considered as underprivileged.
These continents include Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe) Parents can decide on what sex or age they want without any prior restrictions. In domestic adoption, it is quite common to find a number of couples who are looking for the same qualities yet the number of native children available for adoption is limited. Some couples become out competed and are forced to change their preferences or to settle for a child whose age, health or sex is not what they really wanted. International adoption has decongested the number of parents waiting for domestic adoptions and has granted many parents a much needed alternative.
International adoption gives parents a chance to visit another country and to find out new things about it. The United States has been accused of being too self indulgent. Most of its citizens know very little about the goings on in other countries, more so the poor countries. It is therefore very beneficial for its citizens to travel around and learn how other people live. This has greatly contributed to globalization in that citizens from a different origin find their way into another country.
An exchange of ideas has been facilitated between the two countries in an adoption and cultural barriers are broken down. Case in point; in the year 2006, three couples in the US adopted about fifty children from Uganda (East Africa) who were all above the age of fifteen. These couples already had their own children and had to make adjustments to the social and cultural differences between the two sides. There were a lot of compromises that had to made but the overall effect is that those families eventually gained an appreciation of Uganda through those cultural ambassadors in their homes.
Because those children were above the age of fifteen, they already had their own sense of identity and were quite willing to tell their tale. In this sense, international adoption facilitates global harmony and reduces stereo types who may think that other cultures are inferior to theirs. (Kerry, 2006) Adoption agencies have the task of matching parental requirements to the children available. Courts or judicial processes are not involved in these proceedings. This has created booming business for these agencies and has also helped a lot of parents.
An agency has a lot of experience in the business and can therefore be able to identify the right child in the shortest time possible. This could have taken a lot of time for individuals themselves as they may not even know where to start from. Agencies know all the rules and regulations that must be followed; they will conduct all the necessary research on behalf of parents thus sparing them that hustle. In addition, agencies are able to provide counseling to adoptive parents. However it should be noted that a number of problems have cropped up despite the latter mentioned benefits.
First, parents have to pay a lot of fees to these companies – it actually costs double what it would have if a domestic adoption was done. To make mattes worse, not all agencies have been reputable. It takes time for adoptive families to select a reasonable agency. In addition to the latter, it is necessary to divulge very private information about one’s life. This includes; marital status, religion, income, health and residency requirements. (Kerry, 2006) The structure to be followed is quite predictable during international adoption.
It is therefore possible to know how long one will take to finalize their adoption. In most countries, foreign adoptions normally take between one year and one and a half. This will depend on whether the requests made are for healthy children or for those ones with special needs. International adoptions have brought about an assurance among the families that have completed adoptions. There is a peace of mind that comes about when one has finalized the paperwork involved and they are taking their new child home.
This is because they do not have to worry about the birth mother changing her mind about the adoption. In the United States, inter country adoption is only allowed when the child to be adopted is an orphan. This is specified in the laws of the country. In contrast to this, local adoptions have caused lots of discrepancies among the two families involved in an adoption. It is possible that during the time of an adoption, the birthmother thought that it would be the best thing for her child if he/she was adopted by a stable family.
However, some of these biological families may feel like they have their act together and may want to reconcile with their real children. Such mothers may come at a point when the adopting parents have already bonded with the child and may even be considering these parents as their own. When a birth mother comes back, she may bring about psychological and emotional problems in the mind of the child who faces conflicting loyalties. But this is not the case in international adoption, children can grow up without having to look back at their past time and time gain.