How to Adopt Internationally

Learn the ABCs of international adoption.

Choose a Country

Once you've decided that you'd like adopt internationally, you'll need to decide which country you're interested in, find an agency that works in that country, and then begin the long, arduous task of assembling paperwork and making arrangements.

How can you decide which country you'd like your child to come from? Some people have no preference, and others do. Perhaps you're hoping for a child with a similar ethnic background to your own. Maybe you traveled to a certain country and feel a special affinity for its culture. Or you might have been touched by a news story about children in a particular part of the world.

You can make the process easier by checking out which countries have stable political situations and well-established adoption processing mechanisms in place with governmental oversight. The U.S. State Department's Web site ( can be a starting point for identifying those countries, since it provides a country-by-country guide to adoption processing in more than 60 countries. In general, the fewest international adoption scandals have occurred in countries where the government has centralized authority over adoption processing. Adoption fees tend to skyrocket in countries where there is little governmental oversight and many non-governmental intermediaries involved throughout the adoption process.

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