All the countries that we work with have laws in place regarding international adoption. Most of these laws require parents to be present in the court proceedings presided by the county judges. Many U.S. state laws also require the parents to see the child before adoption, these are called pre-adoptive requirements and you should check to see what your states’ pre-adoptive requirements are before beginning an adoption. The length of travel is dependent on the country’s laws.
Whether you give birth to a child, or adopt one there are no guarantees on health. Many of our children are living in institutions and orphanages and may have undiagnosed problems or only partially diagnosed health issues. Some of them have been socially, medically and emotionally deprived for periods of their lives. Some of them may have been legally relinquished by the courts because of a neglect or abuse issue. To help assure that the children are healthy and with the potential to adjust well, we only work with experienced professional facilitation organizations, who see the children themselves, and many of which hire private physicians, social workers and psychologists to evaluate the children. When and if at all possible we try to obtain video tapes of the children so parents can have them evaluated by medical professionals. Know that sometimes it is impossible to obtain the same type of information as you would have on a child born in the United States, but we strive to help our parents discover everything about the child’s current and past medical report.
The cost to adopt internationally depends on the country adopting from, the travel and numbers of trips involved. These fees are not paid in one lump sum, but paid as you move along in the adoption process. Consider just the overhead of operating an office. Multiply that by 2 because you will be dealing with at least 2 offices with business expenses, legal staff and operating staff. Then you have drivers and transportation on behalf of yourself as your facilitator, or attorney runs around doing pre-adoptive paperwork. Sometimes they have to travel great distances to file paperwork and get the paperwork rolling. Agencies spend money on fed-ex and communication with the US based office. Office supplies are more expensive and harder to come by overseas. The dossier is many pages and takes translators hours of non-stop work to translate and type. There are legalization costs. The costs overseas are numerous and add up. The services that the family pays for are well worth all that is paid; yet the amounts are sometimes out of the agency control. Our agency fees are for the case management and professional services. Foreign fees are for services abroad. To maintain licensing and provide high quality services we have to cover all operating expenses and provide a sufficient reserves. Problems do occur during international adoption sometimes and it is comforting to know that you have a caring agency that you can call, before, during or after your adoption. In addition you will have travel expenses, home study expenses, INS processing expenses and document gathering costs.
This depends on each country. The INS requires that you have to be 25 years of age to adopt internationally. We accept all races and religious affiliations. Couples must be married, unless a special exception is made. A prior divorce is acceptable. At least one adoptive parent should be a U.S. citizen. Applicants must have enough money to pay all the agency and adoption expenses and raise the child. Applicants with chronic diseases or handicaps must obtain a doctor’s statement as to their ability to cope with an adoption and parent a child.
Adoption laws are in place to protect both family and child here and abroad. There is no room for exceptions when it comes to adoption law and all legal matters are to be followed by the book according to the law of the country you are adopting from. There are two governments that will be involved in the adoption of your child, so the process becomes a very tedious affair. Many times there is an additional Ministry of Education or centralized adoption committee that we will deal with in other countries to add to the wait and paperwork.
Yes you can in most all of the countries. We try to match a child that fits the family acceptance criteria. All of your choices can be listed on our application.
You will have a photo and in some cases a video to review prior to the commitment to your referral child. You will receive a current medical report and usually if available a social history explaining how the child came to be in the orphanage. These reports vary in quantity and quality of information. Sometimes you will receive observations about the child’s personality and school records. Very little information is usually available about the birth parents unless documentation exists to prove health or social problems. The children are all tested for communicative diseases, and must pass an additional medical exam to receive the exit visa out of their countries, however one cannot ascertain what has occured with the child after the initial medical evaluation before we receive the information. All of our children are legally available for adoption.
Why don't they try to speed up the overseas process, the kids are waiting, don't they want their children adopted?
Many times, no. A stigma has loomed over the international adoption world that darkens adoptive parent’s intentions to adopt and raise these beautiful children. These ideas sometimes are well founded and other times outrageous rumors like; couples wanting to use the child in slavery all the way to; adoption on the basis of organ harvesting and black-market selling of the organs. Foreign governments worry about the safety of their children; they mourn the loss of their treasures, their children, and would love to see the children reunited with their families or adopted domestically in their own country, although economically this isn’t often possible. Sometimes it is an embarrassment for countries to open their orphanages, hospitals and institution doors to Americans to judge their ideas and reasoning behind socialized institutional settings and childcare. Most of the countries allow these adoptions because of political pressure to do so. Some regions or counties in each country are more adoption friendly than others. We have tried to select these adoption friendly areas for our families. This is why we suggest that you discuss your adoption with no one other than staff and people you meet affiliated with the adoption while you are on your adoption journey.
Our social work staff, combined with your homestudy agent’s recommendation, along with the support of our foreign social work staff, starts at the beginning by counseling parents to locate their strong and weak spots in order to make decisions regarding the age, race, gender, health and number of children to be adopted at the same time. We consider whether the parents can handle the risks involved in the adoption of two unrelated children, two unrelated children of the same age “artificial twinning” and the placement of children out of birth order. All of these criteria will be evaluated on each and every family. We work with the foreign staff, after your home study is complete to locate a child or children that will best suit your family according to the descriptions we are able to come up with in our information gathering about your family. We only place siblings in the same family when there is knowledge of available siblings.
Little Miracles will intake each family to discover what qualifications they have for adoption. Certain things could prevent you from adopting in your country of choice and each country has their own rules. The agency completes adoption services in accordance with the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption, the UAA, the IAA, and applicable state standards. Prospective adoptive parents’ applications will be approved based on meeting the requirements of LMI and the country of adoption. Adoption services will be provided without regard to race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status of the prospective adoptive parents except as restricted by the country of adoption.
You will need to fill out a LMI application and send it in with the application fee and appropriate program fee due with application. If you wish you may send it in for prior review without the fee, but your adoption will not be processed until the fee is paid. Then the adoption process will begin. If you reside out of the Texas Panhandle LMI will assist you in locating a home study agent that is affiliated with an international adoption agency. The home study assesses your ability to handle the stresses of adoption and parent the child, and provides proof that you are physically, emotionally and financially healthy and stable in your relationship. There will be specific documents you must gather for the homestudy and may also require that you be fingerprinted and run through the child abuse registry in your state. In addition to the home study you will be required to fill out an I-600A form from the INS. LMI will assist you to fill this out. This will begin the process of your international adoption on the immigration side. You can submit the I600A without your homestudy, and send it after it is approved. See our Getting started with your adoption page.