Foreign Adoption Vs. Local Adoption


Once you’ve made the decision to adopt a child, that’s one hurdle you’ve gone over. Now, you have another set to contend with, such as the choice between adopting a child from the United States or from abroad. Hollywood stars, such as Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Meg Ryan make international adoptions seem glamorous, but you need to consider many factors that suit you and your future family when you plan to adopt an infant. As of 2008, about half the adoptions in America were foreign.


The cost is about the same for foreign adoption versus local adoption, according to the American Adoptions website. Each has particular costs. International adoptions often require you to get a visa and to travel to the country where you will be adopting a child, according to the Adoption website. Domestic adoptions sometimes require the adoptive parents pay for living expenses of the birth mother, according to the American Adoptions website. The typical cost to adopt, foreign or domestic, is $15,000 to $25,000, as of 2010.


Many factors go into determining how long you will wait to receive placement of your child for both foreign and local adoptions. Foreign adoptions must adhere to country-specific issues. Wait times vary with domestic adoptions depending on which adoption agency you use and how many restrictions you have, such as race of the child.

Medical History

Medical history is one area where foreign and local adoptions differ. You typically receive a more thorough medical history of your child if you adopt domestically. You may not receive any medical history if you adopt internationally, according to the American Adoptions website. This includes both family medical history and prenatal care of the mother, including the baby’s exposure to drugs or alcohol in the womb.

Mind Changes

The issue of the birth mother changing her mind is also where foreign and local adoptions differ. With a domestic adoption, the birth mother can change her mind. This cannot happen with a foreign adoption because the children available for international adoption must be orphans. Once you go through the home study process and are approved, you are practically guaranteed a child through an international adoption, according to


You can adopt a newborn with a domestic adoption, but you cannot with a foreign adoption. Your child from a foreign adoption will be at least 3 or 4 months old. Many international babies are adopted from an orphanage, which means there may be a developmental delay/ The child can usually rebound to the norm quickly, according to the Adoption website.



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