Many couples who cannot have children on their own or who simply wish to change the life of a child without parents choose to adopt. While in the past most parents adopted children who were US-based, increasingly strict adoption rules have meant that many parents now look beyond US borders in order to adopt. Currently, there are 200,000 children who have been adopted by US parents and live in the United States after being born elsewhere.
Adoption is always difficult, but the decision to adopt a child from a foreign country is often even more complex. In many cases, in addition to dealing with the usual problems of adoption – such as trying to integrate a child into an existing family or trying to go through the adoption process – parents who decide to adopt children from overseas also need to worry our immigration laws. Parents need to fill out USCIS forms in order to ensure that their child can immigrate to the US. However, many US citizens have successfully adopted international children, so the process is negotiable.
There are many reasons why people adopt international children. In some cases, the restrictions concerning international adoption are actually less strict than local restrictions. Many parents who are frustrated by US adoption policies and regulations can successfully adopt a non-US child through adoption immigration programs and agencies.
As well, many parents want to make a difference in the lives of children who have been influenced by considerable poverty or disease. When it comes to adoption, United States couples are becoming ever more accepting and enthusiastic about international adoption. In fact, a number of well-known celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie and Madonna, have chosen to take part in international adoptions and this has raised awareness about the issue and has given many parents considering a US adoption another option.
As well, some countries allow quicker adoptions than the US, allowing parents to start a family in a more timely fashion. Some adoption agencies and immigration attorneys specialize in the international adoption process and can make the process much easier for prospective parents.
Of course, there are also disadvantages to adopting a child from overseas. In addition to having to introduce a new person into the family, children from overseas may have different cultures, religions, beliefs, or backgrounds. There are many support groups available for families who wish to adopt international children. As well, some couples choose to adopt infants from overseas in order to help prevent some of the problems that occur with older adopted children.