If you are considering international adoption, get ready for an exciting ride! From referral pictures to meeting your child for the first time to exploring the food and landscape of another nation, there is nothing quite as exhilarating or life-changing. When deciding which country to adopt from, it helps to begin with an agency that has a strong reputation with its clients throughout the U.S. Here are some great international adoption agencies to look into as you begin your journey:
6 Most Popular International Adoption Agencies
How do you even begin to search for the right agency?
With programs in countries like China, South Korea, and South Africa, Bethany provides organized pay schedules, home studies, and easy access to information about adoption requirements. You can learn about the ages and needs of adoptable children from various countries, waiting children, and counseling services by visiting their website. According to Catherine Lafler, Bethany’s International Service Manager, “we find the right families for children in need. International adoption has many components...we are focused on the reality, preparing prospective parents to parent differently, coming in with the knowledge that children coming from tough places will need different things. Bethany provides post-adoption services to continue to support for success.”
This rapidly growing agency is known for its friendly, understanding staff and thorough help with travel. Nightlight offers international adoption programs in Ukraine, the UK, and India. This agency’s website will give you a thorough overview of eligibility, travel, and children available in each country. According to Lisa Prather, Vice President of Operations, “we find homes for kids, not kids for homes. We try to find families looking for waiting kids who are a good fit. We work ethically with in-country folks, doing a full private investigation so we know exactly what is going on.” Nightlight has agencies in ten states and can work with families from all over the U.S.
A Hague-accredited agency and one of the most popular in the country, Spence-Chapin offers programs in Bulgaria, Columbia, and South Africa. Providing home study services, preadoption coaching, and post-adoption support, Spence-Chapin is a “one stop shop” for those living in the New York-New Jersey area and can also serve those living in other parts of the country. According to Samantha Moore, their Associate Director of International Adoption, “we work with all types of families: married couples, unmarried couples, LGBTQ parents, single women and men, families who are already parenting, families who are transitioning out of fertility treatments, and families of all ages, income levels, ethnicities, and religions...Our organization founded the Granny program in South Africa, which brings volunteers from the local community into children’s homes to devote time and attention to the same children each day. These little ones quickly begin to thrive thanks to the one-on-one attachment...In the past few years, the landscape of adoption from Africa has seen some major changes…but our South Africa program remains steady.”
Serving in countries like Korea, Columbia, and the Philippines, Holt provides in-country medical care to orphans as they wait for a forever home. With six offices across the country, including California and New Jersey, Holt is authorized to work in all 50 states and can answer your questions about adoption requirements as well as provide you with a home study and preadoption counseling.
Working in countries like Burundi, Latvia, and the Dominican Republic, this Texas-based agency has programs specializing in waiting children and single-parent international adoptions. They offer home studies, a medical referral program with experienced doctors who screen international reports for important information, and heritage tours for adoptees.
Known for its kind, personal staff, Open Door offers such resources as financial coaching and post-adoption care. With international programs in Latvia, Mexico, and China, this agency aims to help adoptive parents through the complicated process of international placement and travel through clear, step-by-step procedure.
Rebekah Yahoves is a writer, mother, and music teacher from Long Island. In 2016, she adopted three school-aged siblings from Poland at the same time. When she isn't constructing casseroles or tuning violins, Rebekah likes to go on tea binges and read.
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