Understanding Domestic and International Adoption
Adoption involves rules and regulations that all parents need to consider. This is especially true when adoptive parents are deciding between domestic and international adoption.
Domestic and international adoptions can differ in relation to costs, legal concerns, access to medical records, wait times, and other factors.
Understanding the difference between domestic and international adoption helps you make the right choices moving forward.
Parental Rights in Domestic and International Adoption
International adoption laws vary depending on the country, and adoptive parents should review and understand the laws that apply in their adoption case.
Consulting with a skilled legal professional helps you navigate the process and secure a successful outcome in international and domestic adoptions.
Many parents mistakenly believe that a child’s birth parents may decide to take the child back. As a result, they look to international adoption as a way to avoid this risk.
But adoptive parents have full legal rights over the child once the adoption is finalized, and every state has its own set of adoption laws you need to be familiar with.
Access to Medical Records
A child’s medical records inform adoptive parents about the unique needs of a child. But international adoptions often provide minimal access to medical information.
Any potential health issues may be unrecognized when there are no records related to the child or the birth mother. Adoptive parents may be unable to determine if the child had any developmental risks resulting from exposure to alcohol or drugs.
The lack of medical records makes it hard to identify the consequences of these and other health risks.
Domestic adoption typically offers a more extensive medical history of the child and information related to the parents that may impact the child’s long-term wellbeing.
Having as much information as possible lets adoptive parents make informed decisions about the children they consider accepting.
Children whose parents have a history of mental illness may be more likely to experience similar issues. Adoptive parents should be informed about these and other potential risk factors.
Cost Expectations in Domestic and International Adoption
Many parents looking to adopt assume that the cost of an international adoption will be less than a domestic one. Although both have their own unique costs to consider, international adoptions may involve travel and other expenses.
You may need to consider the cost of a visa when adopting internationally. But unlike domestic adoptions, parents may not need to cover any expenses for the birth mother when adopting in another country.
International adoptions require adoptive parents to travel to the country of the child they’re adopting. They may need to remain in the country for an extended period of time or make multiple visits depending on the circumstances.
Domestic adoptions may require adoptive parents to be present when the child is born. So there may be travel costs related to domestic adoption as well.
Understanding Adoption Laws
Every state has its own set of laws related to adoption, and adoptive parents need to understand the laws in their own state and that of the birth mother.
Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate laws related to domestic and international adoptions.
Also, the laws can change over time according to each region. So adoptive families need to stay current on new legislation to avoid any potential issues, costs, or delays.
The ages of children who can be adopted may also need to be considered when choosing between domestic and international adoption.
Domestic adoptions typically allow for the adoption of newborn infants. But international adoptions may be limited to children who are no younger than toddler age.
Rules related to marital status, criminal history, and other factors may vary. The more you understand adoption laws, the more likely you are to make the right decisions for you and your entire family.