As my wife and I proceed down the adoption path, we are trying to consolidate requirements for various countries in order to help home in on a target country. In particular, we are trying to document the specific mental/physical health requirements for adoptive parents. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good source or approach for gathering this information for various countries. In my research, I often see adoption agency or other resource sites state, "must be in good physical and mental health" or "BMI under 40", but nothing more specific - particularly as it applies to certain medications on might take. The countries we are looking at are:
I greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
There is the State Department website - [url=]Adoptions Home | Intercountry Adoption[/url] you can check individual country requirements
But sometimes it's pretty vague because that's how the laws were written. It more takes individual cases to show what will go through and what won't because you can't legislate for every exisiting medical or mental health condition. Some countries are much stricter than others but I don't know about the ones on your list I'm afraid. I don't think there's anything wrong with asking specific agencies whether they have experience working with PAP's who have medical problems or take medication for problems, and where did those people succcessfully adopt from?
However taking a quick glance - are you a muslim couple? I don't think you can adopt from Morocco unless you are muslim or can demonstrate that you are very serious about conversion - so it may be out already
And Vietnam is definitely closed - I wouldn't hold off on the chance of it reopening, IMO people are always very optimistic when it comes to countries reopening to adoption, and they are often over optimistic in their estimates. I would cross it off the list because I honestly don't think it will be reopening soon - even when it does you have to wait for the US to start processing applications which won't happen immediately
Countries tend to have very basic rules regarding health. But often, local authorities and orphanages may have additional requirements. Agencies are generally in the best position to know what will work and what won't in the local areas where they work. They are also the best sources of information on how a particular country is currently interpreting its requirements, and on how easy or difficult it is to get a waiver on something. And, yes, waivers are given in some countries, particularly if you are adopting a child who is considered hard to place because of age or special needs.
As an example, Russia is very tough on substance abuse, because it has a very high rate of alcoholism and knows the damage that an alcohol abuser can do to his/her family. But if you are almost 40, never had a drinking problem, but got a DUI at 24 when you were out celebrating your impending marriage, some judges might accept you, while others might not. Your agency can tell you what its experience has been.
China is extremely strict about even mild depression, which it views as "mental illness" even though most Americans do not, but if you got put on antidepressants a few years ago because of grief over yet another miscarriage, and are no longer taking them, you could possibly get approved for adopting a child with special needs. Your agency could possibly contact the China Center on Adoption Affairs to see how it might view your candidacy.
Many countries view all forms of cancer equally, and consider any diagnosis of cancer as an automatic disqualification. However, if you had a very treatable form of cancer, passed your ten year survival, and had letters from your oncologist and surgeon saying that you are likely to live a normal lifespan with no recurrences, you "might" be able to get a waiver.
Of course, you would also have to have a favorable homestudy report by a licensed provider in your state, as well as USCIS approval, before your documents even go to a foreign country. And there are things that could be viewed with concern by your homestudy agency and the USCIS. You should discuss any health issues you have with homestudy providers before signing up for your homestudy. Homestudy providers do not want to waste their time and your money by starting a homestudy if they know that their policies or state guidelines would not allow you to be approved.
In short, your best bet is to talk to several homestudy and placement agencies, and see what they say. Don't go with one that glibly tells you, "Oh, that's no problem for us," unless all the other agencies say the same thing, as there are, unfortunately, some "bad apple" agencies that will do most anything to get you to sign up with them and pay them fees. But if an agency talks to you in depth, tells you what its experience has been with clients in a similar situation, and possibly offers to talk with authorities in your country of choice, and if the agency has a lot of experience and a reputation as ethical and client-oriented, a relationship with that agency could well bring you the child of your dreams.
And, oh yes, I agree with previous posters about Morocco and Vietnam.
Thank you both very much for your informative feedback. As you suggest, I will follow-up with the agency/home-study organizations to clarify. Thank you!