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International adoption

Each year Americans adopt just over 20,000 children from abroad, and Canadians around 2,000. People turn to international adoption because there is little shortage of children, making the process reasonably quick (you could bring home your child in as little as a year). Some people adopt abroad for humanitarian reasons.

Factors of age, race and health do not seem to play a determining role. A study (Child and Youth Care Forum, April 2003) surveyed 119 Canadians interested in adopting and found that almost 90% were willing to adopt a child over 3; 85% would accept a child of a different race, and 74% would adopt a child with minor developmental delays.

Parents going down this road face big decisions: which country? which agency? how much can we afford? Financial planning is essential -- a typical international adoption costs $20,000. In age, the children are older infants and up. Depending on the country, the child from abroad may arrive with health and developmental problems, some needing expert care. For more, see Canadian Guide to Intercountry Adoption.

The resources below are for international adoption in general. For information on individual countries, see Country-specific Resources.

For health issues in international adoption, see Health and Medicine.

Adoption Agencies, Canada and U.S., Lists of adoption agencies in Canada and the U.S.  Family Helper.
Agencies: Inter-Country Adoption Registry, Database on U.S. international adoption agencies, submitted by adoptive parents. Find which agencies are the most successful.
Agencies: Joint Council on International Children's Services, Affiliation of U.S. international adoption agencies and advocacy groups. International news and country information. Washington DC.
Agencies: What to Look for in an Adoption Agency, Positive and negative signs. About.Com.
Canadian Guide to Intercountry Adoption, How to bring your child home from abroad, step-by-step. Family Helper.
Eastern European Adoption Coalition, In-depth information for families adopting from Eastern Europe.
Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, Includes neighboring countries.
Families With Children From China, Extensive site for China adopters.
Hague: Countdown to the Hague Convention in the U.S., How Hague rules will affect adoptions from U.S. to Canada. Choose "Considering Adopting? - Adoption Options - USA". Sunrise Adoption agency, B.C.
Home study: Adoption Home Study Process, Types of information collected during the home study process. Tips for the interview and home visit. Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2004.
Independent adoption (U.S.): Commentary, Medical risks of independent adoptions abroad. Dr. Jeri A. Jenista, in JCICS newsletter, Fall 2001.
Intercountry Adoption Act in Ontario, The law in Ontario. Family Helper.
International Adoption Families Assn., International adoption info and support for Alberta families. Information exchange and lobbying with agencies, organizations and government. Calgary and Edmonton AB.
International Adoption: Lessons Learned from Romania, Dr.Victor Groza on how to prepare for international adoption and the risks of institutionalization. Allison Martin.
International Adoption News, Dr. Ellen Fitzenrider, single mom of four-year-old Katherine Huong, adopted from Vietnam in 2002.
International Concerns for Children, Report on Intercountry Adoption: costs, waiting periods and types of children available from U.S. agencies placing in North American homes. Personal counselling on international adoption. Newsletter. Links to agencies. ARC-CT.
Latin American Parents Association, Aiding those adopting from Latin America. Brooklyn NY.
Preparing to Parent the Internationally Adopted Child, Pre-adoption classes; understanding the loss; FAS; bonding; lifebooks. About.Com.
Provincial Adoption Co-ordinators, Provincial officials responsible for international adoptions (Canada).
Rainbow Kids, International adoption e-magazine. Articles. Resources for each country. FAQ. Agency search. Martha Osborne, editor.
Statistics: Immigrant Visas Issued to Orphans Coming to the U.S., International adoptions to the U.S., by year. State Dept.
Statistics: International Statistics for Canada, International adoptions to Canada, by year. Family Helper.
Steps: General Steps in International Adoption, Process; agency/attorney; research; patience. JCICS.
Steps: How to adopt a child internationally, Who can adopt; choosing an agency; country requirements; documents; finances; homestudy.
Steps: Intercountry Adoption: Where Do I Start, Steps to take in any intercountry adoption. U.S. immigration law. Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2006.
Steps: Six Tips on International Adoption, Prepare for red tape, delays ...
Waiting: Coping and Difficulties and Delays As You Wait for Your Child, PDF from "Adoptive Parent Preparation Manual". JCICS.


Adoptive Families Assn. of B. C. International Adoption: Building a Family. [Videotape] How two couples and two single mothers handled raising a child from abroad.

Adoptive Families Assn. of B. C. International Adoption: What You Need to Know. [Videotape] Pre-adoption advice: deciding to adopt; research; homestudy; trip; meeting the child.

Cox, Susan Soon-Keung. Voices from Another Planet: a Collection of Works from a Generation Born in Korea and Adopted to Other Countries. St. Paul, MN: Yeong and Yeong, 1999.

Galbraith, Lindsay. (1998) Romanian Orphans, Adopted Daughters. Stoveridge Publishing House.

Hilborn, Robin. Canadian Guide to Intercountry Adoption, 3rd ed. Family Helper. How to adopt from abroad, step-by-step. Choose your country and agency. The cost and how to pay for it. Status of adoption in the top countries.

Hilborn, Robin. Health Issues in Intercountry Adoption. Family Helper. Assessing the risks, and testing the health of international adoptees.

Hilborn, Robin. We Adopted From China ... You Can, Too! Family Helper. How Canadians adopt from China; process; agencies; web sites; books.

Klatzkin, Amy. A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China. St. Paul, MN: Yeong & Yeong., 1999.

Petertyl, Mary E. Seeds of Love: For Brothers and Sisters of International Adoption. To read with young children, to ease their anxiety when parents go abroad to adopt. Folio One Publishing, 741 Richmond NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504, 888-436-5461.

Tepper, Thais and Lois Hannon, Dorothy Sandstrom, eds. International Adoption: Challenges and Opportunities. 1st. ed. 1999. Authorities on adoption pronounce on the essential issues: Risks of Adopting an Institutionalized Child; Health Needs Of Your Institutionalized Child; Alcohol-Related Birth Defects; Ames Study of Romanian Orphans; Risk Factors for Speech and Language Development. PNPIC.

Wiedemeier Bower, Jeanette. Transracial Parenting Project: Self Awareness Tool. NACAC's manual to help you decide if adopting a child from another race or culture is for you.

Federal government (Canada)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
International Adoption, Adoption process; immigration process.
International Adoption and the Immigration Process, Laws; sponsorship; Hague Convention; steps.
Application to Sponsor a Member of the Family Class,
International Adoption Authorities in Canada, By province.
Designated Medical Practitioners, Doctors abroad, by country. Dept. of Citizenship and Immigration.
Medical Assessment/Inadmissibility, Medical grounds for rejecting immigrants. Campbell, Cohen law firm.
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Text of the Act.
Citizenship Act, Text of current legislation.
Application for Canadian Citizenship - Minors, For a child under 18.

Inter-country Adoption Services (IAS), At the federal government's Department of Human Resources and Social Development.

Hague Convention, Background. CIC.
Hague Convention, Text. Explanatory report. HCCH.
Hague Convention, Provinces and countries which have implemented.
Hague Adoption Standards Project, Standards for accrediting U.S. adoption agencies under the Hague Convention.
Countdown to the Hague Convention in the U.S., How Hague rules will affect adoptions from U.S. to Canada. Sunrise Adoption agency, B.C.

Provincial governments

For a list of provincial ministries responsible for adoption, see "Provincial Government Adoption Services".

Spotlight on Ontario government

How to Adopt a Child In Ontario, Pamphlet on all forms of adoption in Ontario.
International Adoption, Adopting internationally. FAQ.
International Adoption Non-Relative Guide - A Guide for Ontario Families, Summary of a booklet on adopting a child abroad not related to you. Full text downloadable.
International Adoption of A Relative - A Guide for Ontario Families, Summary of a booklet. Full text downloadable.
List of Adoption Agencies and Licensees Authorized to Handle Adoptions Involving Children Outside of Canada, Contact information for 21 agencies (with country handled). For adoptions finalized outside Canada, under IAA (most countries).
List of adoption agencies and licencees (under CFSA), Contact information, by city, for 8 agencies and 22 licencees. For adoptions finalized in Ontario, under CFSA (some countries).
Private Adoption Practitioners Approved to Conduct Homestudies, Contact information, by city, for 118 private practitioners (usually a social worker) approved by CFCS to conduct adoption homestudies and supervise adoption placements.

Federal govt.
Provincial govt.
Ontario govt.

From Family Helper ...
International adoption guide

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Fertility Adoption Adoption Resource Central Post-adoption Family Tree
Contact: Robin Hilborn,
Box 1353, Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0 Canada
©2008 Robin Hilborn. All rights reserved
URLs verified, Jan. 19, 2007
Updated, Feb. 5, 2008

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