Adoption Agencies

Written by Abby Luttrell
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One thing you may not realize about international adoption agencies is that they hold legal custody of your adopted child until your child is legally adopted by you once you have returned to the States. The reasons for this are many. One, the agency is responsible for the child when he or she leaves the home country to travel to the U.S. This is required by law.

The international adoption is approved and finalized by the foreign country which is the child's birthplace. As an adoptive parent, you will be submitting paperwork and perhaps go through a ceremony or court ruling giving you full parental rights to your child. This allows you to leave the country with the child. Your visa for the child and passport will be granted by the U.S. Embassy in that country.

However, in the eyes of the United States government, you still have to file for adoption once you are back in the U.S. Overseas adoption agencies will guide you easily through this process, just as they guided you through the process in the foreign country. You are responsible for all costs of the U.S. adoption. Most countries will require you to complete the final U.S. adoption within two years.

Follow-Up Visits by Social Workers Arranged by Adoption Agencies

Most international adoptions require follow-up visits by social workers. This is a good thing; it shows you that the adoption agencies of foreign governments are very concerned about the welfare of their children, and want to be sure that they have been placed correctly. Different countries have different requirements, but often the follow-up visits are similar to those required by the Russian Ministry of Education; the first visit is six months after the adoption, then subsequent visits take place after year one, two and three. Adoption agencies will still be involved in the follow-up visits, and will provide hands-on help, counseling, and supervision should any problems arise post-adoption.

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