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International Adoption

.. eral things when we were in Russia, and give him one special thing from his country each year in the anniversary of his adoption (the gotcha day) (Carney). Some other ways couples integrate culture is to have their child go to special lessons taught by someone of their childs culture, i.e. Russian or Chinese. There they learn how to speak their native language and about different aspects of their culture.

Some couples serve ethnic foods at least twice a week, and they even go to cooking classes to learn how to make a variety of dishes. Also, some families move to an area that has a large population of their childs culture (Lang, 3-4). One mom said, I am looking into places with a large Russian population to allow for interaction with people of his culture (Carney). International adoption opens a new window in the adoptive parents life. The adoptees homeland will become part of the adoptive parents life, and the adoptive parents will notice what is going on in the news in that part of the world.

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My husband and I read lots of books on Russia to stay current on the polities over there. We also tape everything we see on TV for him and save news articles. (Carney). This couple hopes that when their child grows up this information will be able to help him understand the realities of life for the people of Russia. Although most international adoptions have been successful, there have been a few problems.

One is that children older than two, handicapped children, and sibling groups present a greater challenge to a harmonious family adjustment. The most successful placements of these types of children occur when the parents fulfill the childs needs with out expecting anything in return. These parents adopt knowing that the child may not be able to love or trust them for many years because these children have a personality, memories, habits, and a different language ( Adopting children orphaned by sudden and extreme circumstances is much more difficult than adopting a child already relinquished by a parent to an institution. Documented evidence must prove that the child had no living relatives and investigating a childs social history and creating identifying documents is a slow process, particularly in an area that has been destroyed by nature or man (Erichsen, 102-105).

One main advantage of international adoption, for the adoptive parents, is that there is no competition for a child, because the number of children up for adoption in other countries is much higher than the United States. This makes it almost impossible for two or more sets of couples to apply for the same child. Competition happens in domestic cases more that in international because domestically more than one couple may apply for the same child since there is a limited amount in the United States. This does not happen in international case because there are so many children (Pulumbo). Once approved by both the adoption agency and the INS and you documents are prepared for a foreign court, a child will be selected and referred to the adoptive parents based on the on the age gender, ethnicity, etc, that was requested. Another advantage of international adoption is the fact that the stringent requirements concerning the documentation of a childs status as an orphan by both the United States and child-placing governments make custody suits by foreign birth parents is virtually unheard of (Erichsen, 132-143).

International adoption consists of many more steps and a lot more money than any other type of adoption. These steps can be found in their entirety in How to Adopt International by Jean Nelson-Erichsen and Heino R. Erichsen. Some of these steps vary from country to country, and are very lengthily. To some people domestic adoption system is much more complicated and risky.

Some people go as far as running ads in newspapers and answering 800 numbers in their homes, these steps are not necessary in international adoption (Carney). When deciding to adopt a child international cost must be considered. The highest cost, using the tally on How to Adopt Internationally was $47,800 without both legal fees and with only a one night stay at a hotel, the lowest with the same exceptions was $11,140 (37-39). In the United States through private adoption agencies, the costs vary form $9,200 to $13,700 not counting travel or living expenses ( With a private attorney in the state of New Jersey, the total cost without travel/living expenses was $19,400 (

In domestic cases the fees differ from state to state and the type of agency that is chosen. Also adopting a child with special needs is less expensive, and often agencies have a sliding fee scale, and there is little to no cost. Although it costs much more to adopt internationally, you will almost certainly get a child. In some cases couples have spent a lot of money, and they never received a child ( One main concern of any adoptive parent(s) is that the birth parents will come and take their new child away from them.

In order for a child to be adopted, the birth parents have to relinquish legal custody. With most agency adoptions, a child is already legally free for adoption before a placement occurs. There are some cases when a birth parent changes his or her mind. This usually only happens before an adoption is finalized. These are highly publicized and rarely occur. These types of cases happen mostly in domestic case, but can very rarely occur in international cases (Adamec, 55).

Feelings of all the parties involved in adoption are all different. The two parties that it influences the most it the adoptive parents, and the child(ren). It benefits the adoptive parents in many ways. One parent said that, My son is the love of my life and having him has dramatically and positively changed my life forever. It is just hard to say how one benefits from being a motherthe benefits are all immeasurable (Carney). This is the best quote that will ever describe how adopting/having a child will ever benefit a couple.

In fact, this particular couple will be adopting again. They feel that their lives would be fuller and their childs life also. Also, they realized that adopting our son had made a huge impact on his life. It is hard to forget the faces of all the children we saw, and since we are able, we want to positively influence the life of another child (Carney). The benefits for the child will always out weight anyone elses.

Life in an orphanage is a terrible thing. Children suffer from malnourishment, and a lack of stimulation, and most will never reach their full potential. The statistics for children who live in an orphanage their whole lives are horrific. Of about 15,000 children who leave orphanages at age sixteen, one in ten commit suicide, one in three becomes a criminal and one in five becomes a vagabond. These children age out of the orphanage system at age sixteen with no bond to another human being and few life skills (Erichsen 170).

Approximately 40-60% of them end up homeless during some part of their lives( The only benefits that the birth parents have is the fact that they think or know that their children will be loved and cared for and have a wonderful and a better life than they could give him or her. Some people in these countries feel that these children will have healthier life in different counties, especially ones that have a high economic stand. They are happy to see them go to loving, caring homes, even if it means they have to go half way around the world to get that. One couple said that the last thing the orphanage director said to them was please come back and take more! (Carney). On the other hand, the feelings of residents of the adoptees country are not always positive.

Some residents ask why people could not adopt of their own kind, and some feel ashamed that someone else has to come and take care of our children (Lenhart, 1). Every year the world experiences significant natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and epidemics create hundreds of orphans. Ethnic cleansing, war, and famine create even more. These children, plus the ones orphaned by people not able or willing to raise a child, are in institutions all over the world.

Adopting is a big decision, and international adoption is an even bigger one. There are many advantages and disadvantages to international adoption, so the decision to adopt international is up to the adopter. In any type of adoption much research is needed to decide which way is best for the adopter. Whatever way is chosen, the adoptive parents will have a child that they will have to love and care for as if the child was theirs biologically. Bibliography Bibliography Adamec, Christine.

The Complete Idiots Guide to Adoption. New York: Macmillian Pub, 1997 Adoptees Win Court Case New York Times 30 Dec 1999 A:16:4 Brenner, Elsa. Where Divergent Cultures Meet. New York Times 12 Dec. 1999: 14WC,1,2 Carney, Susan. Personal Interview. 24 Mar.

2000. Erichesn, Heino R., and Jean Nelson-Erichesn. How to Adopt Internationally. Texas: Mesa House Publishing, 2000 Gilman, Lois. The Adoption Resource Book.

New York: Harper Trade, 1998 Goodman, Walter. An Adoption Dream turns Night-marish New York Times 10 Feb 2000: E:8:4 Lang, Annie Adams. Identity: When Parents Adopt a Child and a Whole Other Culture. New York Times 8 Mar 2000: H:9:1 Lenhart, Jennifer. Korean Attitudes Color Adoptions: U.S. Parents struggle for Acceptance for Their children.

Washington Post 6 Feb. 2000: C.1 McKenna, M A J. International Adopters Show High Level CDC and Chinese kids Most likely Exposed. Atlanta Constitution 11 Feb 2000 E:1 Pulumbo, Judy. Personal Interview 18 Mar. 2000 Smith, Lynn. Family Album/A weekly profile of a family- its history Los Angeles Times 28 Nov.

1999: 1 Thompson, Ginger. In Mexico, Children, and Promises, Unkept. New York Times 2 June 1999: A:1:3 Wetzler, Cynthian Margriel. Helping the Adoption of Russian Children. New York Times 22 Aug 1999: E:8:4 Current Events.


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