You want to adopt a child from another country, but you’re not sure which country is best for international adoption. Once you find what country you’d wish to adopt a child from, you need to consider a number of components. They include examining how stable the adoption program is, the overall costs if you’ll meet the eligibility requirements, how many children you can adopt from the country, the age ranges and special needs of the children, and how long you’ll have to travel and stay in the child’s captivating homeland. It’s important to keep in mind that a few select countries, such as Russia and Ethiopia, completely forbid adoption from their countries, so they’re out of the question. Taking these factors into consideration, here are eight international countries that are considered best for international adoption.
China is the country with the highest population, and Americans have continually chosen to adopt children from China over other countries. In 1992, China began its own international adoption program and since has become one of the world’s most searched for and most stable international programs. Children from 1 year old to 13 years old are available for adoption. Children with minor special needs are also much more common in Chinese adoptions. The cost of adoption ranges around $35,000; in-country and travel expenses are included.
To be eligible to adopt a child from China, the following guidelines must be in place:
- One prospective adoptive parent must be a citizen of the United States.
- Each parent must be in the age range of 30-49. Couples and single women in the age range of 30-55 are permitted for China’s Waiting Child Program, and older adoptive parents would have to go by a case-by-case list.
- Married couples are permitted. Married couples have to be married for at least two years. Both spouses can’t be divorced for more than two years, and for those that have been previously divorced, they have to be married for five years. Singles would be permitted to adopt from China’s Special Focus Adoption Program.
- The family’s income must be $10,000 yearly per member of the household, including the Chinese adoptee child/children.
- Individuals must have no criminal history, child abuse record, domestic violence, drug charges, or felonies.
- Prospective parents must at least have a high school diploma.
- If the individuals already have children whether biological or adopted, they’ll still be able to adopt a child from China.
- If either parent has poor health, the allowance to adopt a child is on a case-by-case list.
- Individuals must make one trip to China lasting between four to five weeks.
India is the 2nd most populous country, has the most populous democracy, and is very diverse. There are many children waiting to be adopted due to abandonment and birth parents relinquishing their parental rights. Due to the fact that children are very unlikely to have an adoptive family from India, international adoption is usually the only chance children have to have a family to truly call their own. Orphaned children from India that are linked through the India program are available to adopt, and children between the ages of 6 months to 14 years are available for adoption. Prospective parents should be open to adopting children with special needs that vary from minor to moderate, even to lifelong needs. The cost for adoption ranges from $28,000 to $35,000.
Below are the eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- Individuals must be heterosexual, and if married, need to be married for two years or more.
- Both single women and men are permitted to adopt; however, single men can only adopt male children.
- Individuals must be between the age ranges of 25-55.
- Families must not have more than three children in the household.
- Individuals must prove to be financially stable.
- Individuals must have great physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Individuals must be able to travel to India, and the duration of stay might last for about one week.
With one of the highest birth rates in the world, this small African country has children ages 18 months old and up who are in need of a forever family. Burundi has a small but reliable adoption program with its central authority being ethical. Nearly 80% of Burundi families live below the poverty line. As a result, children are also orphaned due to abandonment or the death of either one or both parents. If couples are looking to internationally adopt children from Burundi, they must be open to adopting a child 5 years and up. They can either adopt healthy children or children that are malnourished and small. Burundi is open to sibling adoption, and adoption that has two or more unrelated children being adopted at the same time is allowed. International adoption costs are around $29,700.
To be eligible to adopt a child from Burundi:
- The individual and/or spouse/partner must be 30 years old or older. However, if the prospective parent is 50 or older, there will be certain age restrictions of the child he or she adopts.
- Couples together for 5 years or longer can adopt. Single persons are also allowed to adopt.
- If the individual or couple already has children, they can still adopt a child from Burundi.
- The income must be a good net worth of $10,000 for each family member.
- The individual and family members must have no criminal history.
- They must have a healthy medical history. A psychological examination is also required.
There’s a major need for international adoption for children from Haiti. There are more than 200,000 children waiting for families. Because of this, the adoption process is more simple. Children of Haiti are orphaned and abandoned because of poverty and reside in orphanages, called creches, and are awaiting adoption. Children ages 6 months to 16 years old are waiting to be adopted, whether individual, in sibling groups, or unrelated groups of children. The average cost of adoption ranges from $25,000 to $40,000.
To be eligible to adopt a child from Haiti:
- One prospective parent must be 30 years old, both parents under 50 years old, and single prospective parents must be in the age ranges of 30-55. Single women can’t be older than 45.
- The individual and/or couples must be heterosexual.
- Single and married couples can adopt, however, married couples have to be married for 5 years.
- People can adopt whether they already have their own biological children or adopted children.
- There must be no criminal history.
- Couples and individuals must prove that they can provide for themselves and the members of their household. Finances and their income will be evaluated.
- People must prove that they’re physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
- They must be able to travel for two trips to Haiti (15 days stay after referral approval and two to seven days to bring the adopted child home).
South Korea has the longest-standing international adoption program. After the year 1953, international adoption began in South Korea because of the massive number of orphan children from the aftermath of the Korean War. The children available for international adoption are between the ages of one to 6 years old, most have mild special needs, and groups of siblings cannot be adopted. More boys than girls are available for international adoption because the majority of Korean families prefer to adopt girls. Costs of adoption ranges from $9,500-$10,000. If people would like to adopt from South Korea, two trips to the country that each lasts between five to seven days are necessary. Here are some other requirements people need to keep in mind in order to be eligible to adopt a child/children from South Korea:
- Individuals must be in the age range of 25-40 years old.
- Couples must be heterosexual. Must be married for three years and no more than one divorce with each possible parent.
- The income must be higher than normal in the U.S.
- Couples must have less than five children already.
- Individuals must have no criminal history.
- Individuals must be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
There are hundreds of orphaned children waiting to be adopted in the Eastern European country of Ukraine due to neglect, abuse, extreme poverty, or abandonment. Ukraine also has a short wait program that is less than one year. Children 5 years of age and older are available, more boys than girls are available, and the children are mainly of Caucasian descent. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s absolutely forbidden to adopt a child under 5 years old, with the exemption of children 14 months and up with special needs. Sibling groups are permitted to be adopted, and as long as one of the siblings is under 5, they can be adopted with his or her siblings. Costs are in the price ranges of $30,000-$60,000 yearly.
Here are the requirements to adopt a child from Ukraine:
- Individuals must be married; single people aren’t allowed to adopt from Ukraine.
- Couples must be 15 years older than the child they’re wishing to adopt.
- Couples must have no criminal record.
- There are no income requirements, but couples will have to show that they’ve been financially stable for at least six months.
- Two trips to Ukraine are required; the first trip lasts three weeks to a month and the second trip lasts two weeks.
- If couples already have biological or adopted children, they’re permitted to adopt.
- Couples must be in good overall health.
For a lot of the children in Columbia, international adoption is the only possible way for them to have a family. Children over the age of 8 are the ones who immediately need a permanent family. The great benefit of adopting an older child is that it makes it a fast-moving adoption process. Columbia has a wonderful child welfare system, and the children receive great care and a great education. Children from the age of 1 to 15 years old are awaiting adoption; sibling groups are allowed. A lot of the younger children 6 years old have mild to severe special needs. Costs for adopting a child from Columbia are around the price ranges of $32,000 to $45,000.
Here are the requirements to adopt a child or children from Columbia:
- If individuals are married, they must be married for three years or more.
- Gay and lesbian couples can adopt.
- Single men can only adopt boys.
- Individuals must be open to adopting special needs children with mild to moderate disabilities.
- Individuals must be 25 years of age or older; however, they must have an age difference of 15-45 years between the prospective parent and the child.
- They must have a clean record.
- They must have good physical and mental health.
- Two trips are required; the first trip lasts around six weeks, and the second trip is around eight weeks.
Although there are a few U.S. agencies working with Thailand, the programs are established, reliable, and solid. The international adoption program is quick, takes less than two years, and provides tons of information about the child the couple wishes to adopt. Sadly, there’s a strong bias dealing with families in poverty and single mothers in Thailand, and that’s a big reason why there are many children that are awaiting adoption. Abandonment, parent incarceration, and birth parents handing their child or children over are also reasons children from Thailand need to be adopted. Healthy and special needs children 15 months to 15 years are waiting to be adopted. Costs for adoption ranges between $25,000-$35,000.
To be eligible to adopt from Thailand:
- Married couples must be married for three years or more, and two divorces per potential parent are allowed. Single women are allowed to be put on a case-by-case list, but be aware that most Thailand agencies won’t work with single people.
- Thailand prefers that couples don’t have previous children, but if they have only one child, whether biological or adopted, they must wait for 18 months to adopt a child.
- Couples must be in the age ranges of 25-43 years old and must be 15 years older than the child they’re looking into adopting.
- Couples must be physically and mentally healthy.
- Couples must make one trip lasting for two weeks.
After looking at this list, and whatever country you choose, make sure you really absorb the beauty of the child’s home country, learn all you can about the culture, and really enjoy the whole experience of adopting a child from a new country. All of these countries have great international adoption programs and have many wonderful children just waiting for a family of their own.
Kandice is an adopted twin, wife, and mother of two girls who loves spending time with her family and two rabbits. She loves reading and writing inspirational works of literature and loves telling stories.