Where can you find information on international adoption?

When you decide to adopt a child internationally, you can find lots of information on the Internet. Your decisions, however, should be based on certified and verifiable information that can be found through government agencies and qualified adoption service providers. Adoption agencies are many and varied, and it's important to check several before you choose, making sure they are properly licensed and that they have a capable and experienced staff. International adoption is a complex process governed by three sets of laws: U.S Federal Law, the laws of the child's country of origin, and the laws of your state. Within the U.S there are several branches of government that have decisive roles in the international adoption process.

The U.S Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) is the federal government agency that gives the final approval in any international adoption. First you file a petition and then it must be approved. The next step is granting a Visa and notifying the State Department. The USCIS Web site is user-friendly, with readily available information. The U.S. Department of State also has an informative Web site, with practical information on all the steps and requirements for adoption.

You can choose to adopt a child from a country that has signed the Hague Convention, an international agreement signed by 75 countries. Adopting according to The Hague Convention ensures the best interest of the child, makes sure the child is eligible for adoption, identifies potential legal problems, and prevents abduction and traffic of children. These principles are strongly supported by the United States. Make sure that the agency you choose for the adoption process is accredited. Adoption agencies that offer adoption services from a Convention country must be accredited by the federal government. The Department of State has a list of Hague-accredited countries and agencies.