International Adoption Today
Today, international adoption is not only widely accepted in the United States, it's fueling one of the biggest adoption booms in U.S. history. In the past decade, the number of foreign adoptions has more than doubled -- last year more than 18,000 children were adopted from other countries, mainly Russia, China, South Korea, Guatemala, and Romania. International adoptions now account for well over half of all infant adoptions in America (excluding adoptions involving a child's stepparent or other relatives).
"I think our whole society is much more open to different kinds of families. These days everyone has a friend, neighbor, or coworker who has adopted internationally," says Jill Cole, director of international adoptions at the Spence-Chapin agency in New York City.
Still, parenting a child adopted from abroad -- especially if she's of another race or ethnicity -- is filled with challenges and rewards that aren't often experienced by biological parents. If you've ever wondered what it's like to adopt, and why international adoption has become an increasingly popular way to build a family, here's an inside look.