Dear All,
We are Cecile and Jerome, and are looking into adoption in Laos. We would be happy to meet anyone who has succesfully adopted there, or hear of any advice / suggestions you may have. We are trying to get in contact with lawyers in Vientiane, but no reply so far....
Thank you !
Cecile.
Please read the U.S. State Department discussion of the process at adoption.state.gov.
Adoption from Laos must be considered very high risk. The adoption process sounds simple in theory, but it may be difficult on the Laotian side because there are no detailed regulations spelling out how the law is to be applied; you may hear lots of different things from different people or branches of the government.
And, more importantly, the U.S. Embassy is going to scrutinize every situation very carefully, because some unscrupulous people are procuring babies improperly and false paperwork may also be an issue. If you adopt a child and the U.S. government refuses to issue an adoption visa because the child's paperwork is considered fraudulent or the facilitator who identified a baby is considered corrupt, you may be legally and morally responsible for that child but unable to bring him/her home.
Sharon
Dear Sharon,
Thank you kindly for your answer.
We are aware that "direct" adoption in such countries are risky....but it seems to be our only alternative...(we had no luck with adoption agencies, which seem to have too many demands at the moment, and thus we are looking into other ways to get to our child).
We have contacted some attorneys known by the US embassy in Laos, believing that it may be our best bet to have a legal process going. However, none have answered our Emails. We were just wondering if anyone had had a better chance...?
Thank you again Sharon,
Cecile.
I'm not aware of any agencies working in Laos, and this ALWAYS raises red flags.
With so many countries closing to adoption or changing their requirements, agencies are constantly looking for new countries in which to work. They will try to open programs in ANY country that allows international adoption, has children in need, has a reasonably clear process, and is not so riddled with corruption that ethical adoption is impossible.
When you see a situation where international adoption is permitted, but none of the experienced agencies in the U.S. has a program there, you can be sure that ethical independent adoption is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Sharon
Just chiming in here to second Sharon's warning. You should be very wary of trying to adopt from this country. If you look at the numbers, in recent years there are 2, or 3 international adoptions completed between Laos and the US. That means that annually, only a handful of children are successfully adopted from Laos to the USA, and these include relative adoptions where the adoption is completed after the parent marries a US citizen. See the stats here:
[url=http://adoption.state.gov/country/laos.html#statistics]Laos[/url]
US citizens typically flock to any country that has stable conditions for international adoption, adopting as many children as are available. Look for instance at the numbers for neighboring countries like China and South Korea. If Laos had favorable conditions, the statistics would be demonstrating more adoptions taking place. This is indeed a very risky country to adopt from - you really wouldn't want to be caught up in an adoption effort that might be impossible to complete - it is very costly in emotional and material resources.
Thank you both. Yes, what you say does raise questions......especially if adoptions that occured were "relative" adoptions.
If we get more info, we'll make sure to post it.
Cecile.
My understanding is that relative adoptions generally do NOT include the minor Biological children of a foreign national now living in the U.S. and married to an American citizen. More commonly, such children come over on dependent visas, not adoption visas, since they are coming to live with their biological parent. The American spouse then does a "stepparent adoption" in the U.S., if he/she chooses to do so. It's much quicker and easier to go this route, since you don't need to deal with I-600/I-800 issues and foreign government adoption rules, and stepparent adoptions are fairly easy.
In general, relative adoptions are done by other family members, now living in the U.S. As an example, suppose that a woman living in a foreign country has a baby outside of marriage, and the Biological father is not in the picture. The woman's sister and her husband, who immigrated to the U.S. and became U.S. citizens, agree to adopt the child since the biological mother cannot afford to raise him/her and is afraid that the child will be ostracised because of the out of wedlock birth. If the foreign government approves the adoption, and if the child qualifies for immigration (orphan status, age, valid papers), an adoption visa (IR-3 or IR-4) can be granted.
Still, your point is well-taken. Anytime you see only a handful of adoptions from a particular country, these adoptions tend to have been carried out by relatives of the biological parents. The foreign government is much more likely to approve these adoptions, and it is generally easier for a relative who knows the foreign country well to navigate the adoption process.
Sharon
sak9645
My understanding is that relative adoptions generally do NOT include the minor Biological children of a foreign national now living in the U.S. and married to an American citizen. More commonly, such children come over on dependent visas, not adoption visas, since they are coming to live with their biological parent. The American spouse then does a "stepparent adoption" in the U.S., if he/she chooses to do so. It's much quicker and easier to go this route, since you don't need to deal with I-600/I-800 issues and foreign government adoption rules, and stepparent adoptions are fairly easy.
In general, relative adoptions are done by other family members, now living in the U.S. As an example, suppose that a woman living in a foreign country has a baby outside of marriage, and the Biological father is not in the picture. The woman's sister and her husband, who immigrated to the U.S. and became U.S. citizens, agree to adopt the child since the biological mother cannot afford to raise him/her and is afraid that the child will be ostracised because of the out of wedlock birth. If the foreign government approves the adoption, and if the child qualifies for immigration (orphan status, age, valid papers), an adoption visa (IR-3 or IR-4) can be granted.
Still, your point is well-taken. Anytime you see only a handful of adoptions from a particular country, these adoptions tend to have been carried out by relatives of the biological parents. The foreign government is much more likely to approve these adoptions, and it is generally easier for a relative who knows the foreign country well to navigate the adoption process.
Sharon
Hi Sharon,
My wife and I are seeking to adopt my cousin(my father's little sister's daughter's unborn child). I am an naturalized U.S. citizen of Lao descent and my wife is natural born American and we have two biological children ages 4 and 5. We have been living(on tourist visas) in Vientiane for the past seven months but have already bought plane tickets to go home in early May.
My cousin has been hiding the pregnancy from family because she already has an 11 and 7 year old which the grandma is pretty much raising for her and didn't want any family members to know. We only learned of the pregnancy this past weekend from a neighbor which claimed that our cousin was going to abandon the child at a hospital and family would've never known. We told the cousin we wanted to adopt the child and she has agreed.
Ideally, we would like the process to be fast(don't we all) so we could take the child home with us once Laos approves the adoption and we get all the necessary documention for US to approve the adoption. We know this may take some time. We are scheduled to leave and return to work May 2 and the baby is due on May 29 and then more time for adoption process. We are willing to stay longer if need be and lose out on the plane tickets we already purchased. Our concern is the whole process I-600A, home study, legally adopt the child in Laos, then I-600A will take up to two years. If that's the case, we really can't afford to stay in Laos for that long and work is expecting us, but we will do whatever it takes. Even if that means we have to find someone in Vientiane to raise the child for us.
So since our situation is a little different than the "normal " adoption process, do we really need to go through the normal process of filling out the I-600A, do the home study, etc. or could we skip these first two steps and adopt the child once it's born and then file the I-600 form? If we do have to go through the whole process, how much time does it typically take for the I-600A and home study process before we find out whether or not we are even eligible to adopt? With articles like this [url=http://chinaadoptiontalk.blogspot.com/2011/02/laos-international-adoption.html]AdoptionTalk: Laos & International Adoption[/url] and cousins we've talked to, on the Lao side of the adoption looks like we won't have any problems, but just worried about the US side of things. We want do everything right and just want to know what we're up against.
Any info would help. Thanks!!!
I am happy to hear that your adoption story ended happily. I currently live in Laos with my husband and my adopted son. We will be posted here for a few years. We would really like to adopt a second child. Does anyone know if we can adopt a child in Laos?
Thank you
I am also very interested to hear if anyone has had recent success in adoption in Laos. They have been closed to foreign adoption for over 3 years now and I know of a handful of people are are anxiously waiting for this to happen (including my husband and I).