Why Adopt Outside the United States – Here’s Some Answers

Question: Here’s my question (absolutely no judgement)… What is the motivation to adopt from outside our borders when there are so many children needing adoption here in the U.S.? Is it a money (overseas) vs red-tape (at home) issue? Is it intirgue, glory or noteriety that motivates the travel and selection? What is it?

One Couple’s Answer: We were looking to adopt very young children, preferably a baby (2 or under), and that is more difficult in the United States. We were actually working toward a domestic adoption, and it just didn’t work out for us. We were put into several birthmom’s top three, but never made the cut. Since we already had a biological child, several birthmoms (according to feedback that we received) were unsure that we could love their baby as much as our own.

We wanted to take control of our adoption, and we felt that international adoption was the way to do it. Our agency (the same one we were working with domestically) opened up international adoptions for the first time shortly after we made the decision to go international (we got the letter from them the NEXT DAY!).

Russia just happened to be one of the countries that they were going to work with. We had some family members with experience there, and we had a good feeling about going to Russia, so we did. It was a dramatic process, with lots of ups and downs, but once it was done, it was done. There wasn’t (and isn’t) much chance of a birthmother coming back to re-claim our sons. We liked having that security. It wasn’t cheap, and the red-tape had to have been 10x worse than in the US, but the good has far outweighed the bad. It has been the right choice for us, without a doubt.

Our Answer: We were looking for slightly older children (not babies, but pre-teen). First we looked locally in Washington DC area and every child we inquired about had special needs – drugs, alcohol, abuse, rebellion, extensive foster-care, etc. We weren’t looking for significant issues on top of having eight children already. Because we knew someone with a wonderful adoption experience, we started to look at thousands of pictures on an international site for multiple agencies. It didn’t matter to us what country the child came from at first… however, one day one little girl called out to us and spoke volumes to my wife.

Instinctively, we picked up the phone and started to investigate the agency and process. One child lead to two and during our visit it lead to three beautiful little girls who immediately started calling us Mommy and Daddy. Adoption is an intensely intimate and spiritual journey.

Adoption is a choice.  It is not dictated by national boundaries, cultural differences, religious persuasion or race. It’s a choice a loving person or couple makes to give back a little bit of themselves to humanity for a child’s sake.

It is not a political issue and we wish the world and their governments would wake up to this reality. You see, everyone who adopts will give you their answer to the question, and though there might be similarities in the answer, each is deeply personal and different, customized to their circumstances, values and beliefs. 

Only a person or family who has adopted can relate the reasoning behind their adoption. It is a decision made between God and man that is mutual and let no other man be their judge. If you feel the need to judge another person’s motives, perhaps you should consider adoption and find out for yourselves… it’s definitely worth the experience for both giver and receiver.

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