What do I do? How do I start?

So many people might consider international adoption but turn away during the information gathering process.

Every time I have e-mailed or talked with someone who is “thinking” about international adoption, I find myself sorting through the load of information one needs to make the decision as to whether or not the process is a good fit for them or not because as I type it all out, I even begin to feel overwhelmed by the details and concerns that have to be addressed before even selecting an agency.

Here is an outline of my method of how to get started with an international adoption:

1. What do you want?

a. What you type of child is the best fit for your family at this time?

b. What is important to you in a country program?

c. What do you expect from an agency?

2. Make Lists of:

a. Your priorities

b. The countries you want to consider (You might feel drawn to a country because of a cultural or personal connection after reading an adoption story or reading an article about children living outside of family care in that country)

These lists of ideas and things that are important will help in eliminating programs that are not a good fit once you review the country process and fees as well as eligibility requirements to see if they fit your family dynamic. You will be able to cross off programs, and your list of possible countries will become shorter as you read up. Once you have shortened your list (hopefully to one program that seems like the best fit), you will be able to move on to the next step.

3. Identify agencies with that country program and interview them using your priority list (www,adoption.state.gov has a search engine to identify accredited agencies, but there are other sites out there too!)

a. Once you have interviewed the agencies, you should be able to decide which agency you want to work with.

4. Request an application to get started!