I am new to the boards. DH and I are in the heavy exploration phase of the journey to adoption. We are sure adoption is right for us and are pulled towards international adoption for many reasons. When I first joined the boards I was sure that China was the right choice for us, however the more I explore and learn the more I see positives and negatives from many different countries. I am a bit overwhelmed by the choices! Did you know what country you would adopt from immediately or have you experienced this back and forth? Thanks.
We looked into just about all of the countries.
Some of the things that helped us decide were these:
I knew that i would not be able to take the time off work to make more than one trip to another country. As well as how long some of the trips may be.
We also were concerned about going to another country at all since my father lives with us and he is 78. We were worried about leaving him. So we were looking into a country that did escorts. While we were looking we saw that Korea and Guatemala did escorts. So we looked into them more. We actually just felt a bigger connection to Guatemala. Now that we have started the process we are going to go to Guatemala to get our baby. We also liked the idea that we would get a referral at birth and that the baby would be in foster care until we were able to pick her up. Also hopefully she will be around 6 months when we are able to get her.
We are all paper ready but waiting on our referral.
Good luck with whatever country you decide on.
I did a lot of back and forth during my initial research. I thought about Russia and Ukraine and Kazikstan. I looked at the Asian area - China and Korea and Vietnam. I looked at Guatemala. I also looked at various other countries in the beginning. I found that some were eliminating themselves because of cost, travel requirements, other requirements. But I couldn't decide. The best way to descibe it is that none of them stood out. And then one day my teenage cousin innocently said, "What about Africa?" And I knew instantly. Within about 30 seconds Ethiopia was mentioned and I just knew that it was the right choice me. I still did the research and as I continued with it everything I learned just confirmed my initial reaction. I am now waiting for a referral.
Best of luck with your choice - and trust your gut.
My dh and I had been trying to decide where to adopt from for a while. We are pretty certain its going to be Haiti. The fees are the lowest I've seen (my parents adopted for about $10,000) travel is optional (though I WANT to travel, but I like the option of not absolutely having to if something happens) very young children are available (under 1) and we're probably going to use an organization thats has their babies in foster care (which I'm excited about). That and we have a connection to the country. So, thats how we narrowed it down (rather quickly!).
You just narrow down the list :)
What Cultures do you feel drawn to?
How much are you willing to spend?
(How much can you really afford??)
How much time can you take for travel?
Do you want an infant under 12 months?
Are you willing to take an older child say 15-36 months?
Those are just a few of the questions you ask yourself :)
For me the decision was pretty easy. I feel drawn to Asian culture and Vietnam especially. I knew that I preferred an Asian country to a Latin country. I like to travel, and shouldn't have a problem being able to take a long trip for pick up if I need to. The price for a Vietnam adoption easily falls into the price range I had set, and infants are referred at a fairly young age, so I have a very good chance of having the small "Baby" I've always dreamed of :)
I was afraid I was going to have to go with my 2nd or 3rd choices, but just when I got serious about adoption the announcement that Vietnam was reopening was made! It seemed like a sign lol and now I'm just counting down until I'm able to offically start the process!!!
Most importantly, be totally and completely honest with yourself!!! You don't want to get 1/2 way through the process and wake up one morning and realize you are making the biggest mistake of your life, OR feel like you are settling for something you don't really want.
Best wishes!!
We also began with no specific country in mind. We ended up adopting from Cambodia twice, mainly because of the suspension. We felt it so unfair that kids were stuck in the system with no hope of adoption because of politics. (There are those who disagree, but that's a different forum altogether!)
Don't feel as though you're lacking some sort of commitment because you're not focused on a country yet. The attachment will grow with your choice, and as you learn and fall in love with your child, the connection will come.
When we very first started we thought we wanted to adopt from Russia. But we never felt very comfortable due to the travel requirements and other issues with Russia. Then we researched both China and Guatemala. Guatemala seemed very expensive to us although the babies are probably the youngest.
We ended up choosing Korea because we wanted an Asian child, the good health care system in Korea and the children are in foster care. Also no travel with our agency we are using an escort. We wanted to be able to spend more time at home with our daughter than traveling.
Now it seems like the perfect fit for our family- but it took us a LONG time to decide.
When we first started, we looked at Russia, Ukraine, Guatemala, and China...we simply cannot afford $30,000+ and some countries we would end up staying for 3wks or more, or making two trips. I have a 6 and 7 yr old at home and do not want to be away that long. Sadly finances mainly dictated what countries we could adopt from. Then, I began to think, for the cost of the $30,000+, I could potentially adopt 2 from China. We could make positive, loving influences on 2 innocent children...we have enough room, enough love, enough time...China is the right choice for our family. I think as mentioned by someone will be drawn to what is right for you! Good luck!
My wife and I have approached the process in a different way that the other posters (although all the points and advice given above are great!). We both have Polish roots and wanted to adopt a child with whom we can share our heritage. We were told that it is difficult to adopt from Poland so we picked a back up country that is close to Poland in ethnicity and culture, which is Ukraine. The cost was another consideration, my wife is a native Polish speaker so we were able to save a lot of money on parts of the process (i.e. hiring a translator and lawyer/facilitator in country independently, etc.). I realize this may not be possible in everyone's case, but it has worked for as so far. We have been accepted by Polish adoption authorities and are waiting for a referral.
I realize that ethnicity cannot always be traced back and it is complex especially in the US, but thinking in terms of some ties with the country of your future child may help when you are just starting the process. For example, our friends (she is of Irish descent and he is part Irish and part Korean) decided to adopt from Korea; our friends who lived in India years ago as missionaries decided to adopt from there, etc. etc.
Although the cost of adoption from Guatemala, Ukraine and other countries can be very high (40,000+), we know about cases of parents who adopted from those countries independently as well (withouth the use of an agency), so it is worth some research if the cost is of concern.
which countries allow adoptions by single females? Is there a short cut list for me to check or do I have to research EVERY country? I saw that Ukraine won't allow singles to adopt.
First we wanted to go Taiwan. All we could find was Birthmother programs, so We decided at first to go with Vietnam... They had the kind of culture we loved and admired, they were in our price range (I hate that but it is true) and they had a relatively short process and fairly young infants. Well, after waiting for a couple of months we saw the country moving very slow. Then one day, someone told us about some agencies that worked with orphanages in Taiwan. The pricing is about the same as Vietnam, the process about the same or shorter, and as we watch the referrals come out of Vietnam, Taiwan referrals are younger, which means home younger on may counts. We also liked that the agency we are working with would allow us to take a referral as long as we were almost done with our Homestudy. WE did not even have to have the I600A or the Dossier done ahead of time. It has been a fairly simple process thus far. If you wish to know more about Taiwan please private message me.
Sarah k.
We've thought about adoption on and off over the years, but when I learned about the Ethiopia program, it was clear that it was perfect for us. So many things appealed to me about the program, including the excellent care the children receive at the care centers in country. It's also relatively affordable, and there's such a need in the country. The children are generally healthy, and it's a quick process.
We now have our little boy home, and he is an absolute joy, and I feel like we're the luckiest people in the world! Really, it has all worked out beautifully. :D
I'm finding this thread helpful, since my husband and I are just starting out and haven't decided on a country yet either.
Can anyone recommend a website or other place with good information to help compare countries? (It seems a lot depends on the agency too, but...anything to help me know where to start!) Thanks!