The International Adoption Guide

A tour through the international adoption process.

Mary M. Strickert April 16, 2014

So you’re thinking about adopting a child from another country?  Wonderful!  International adoption can bring huge amounts of joy and love to both the children who are adopted and the families who adopt them.

At first glance, the international adoption process can seem pretty overwhelming.  But we promise it’s not so bad– and parents who have gone through it will add that it’s all absolutely worth it.

And that’s why we’ve put together this guide.  In the slides that follow, you’ll learn about the twelve main steps involved in completing an international adoption.  We’ll also provide links to resources that will help you decide if international adoption is right for you, choose a country to adopt a child from, and become a little more familiar with each of the steps involved in the process.

To get inspired before you plunge into the rest of this slideshow, we encourage you to watch I Like Adoption.  It’s one of our favorite videos about a family who has adopted children from around the world. Grab a tissue! It will pull on your heartstrings.

Want more on international adoption? Click here.

<b>Can I help a child create & maintain a positive identity with his birth culture?</b>
2. Can I help a child create & maintain a positive identity with his birth culture?

Before embarking on your international adoption journey, think about how you will give your child a cultural identity. Perhaps you can take language classes to learn the native language of your child. Or maybe there are restaurants specializing in food from your child’s country of origin. These are but two (very) simple examples of resources that can be a springboard to further cultural learning.

When children who were adopted ask, “Where did I come from?” they may be looking for more than an explanation of the birds and the bees. What these kids may be hungering to hear is their personal story – how they came to be living in this country with this specific adoptive family.

Developing friendships with other families who have adopted internationally can be a great way to help your child develop his or her own identity within the context of a multicultural family. It is good for children of international adoption and blended ethnicities to see other families who look like their family – i.e., families where the parents and the children don’t necessarily look alike.

To learn more about help your child embrace his or her culture, check out our Transracial and Multicultural Adoption Guide.

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Mary M. Strickert

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