Parents may face additional challenges adopting internationally

It’s no secret that the adoption process can be challenging. In the United States, potential parents are required to undergo extensive background checks, as well provide information about their home life and financial situation. In fact, the process can become even more challenging when families decide to pursue international adoptions.

Interestingly, Russia – the preferred destination of many prospective parents – recently closed adoptions to U.S. families for almost a year after one Tennessee woman put her child on a plane back to Russia. That child is now living in a Russian orphanage.

The World Association for Children and Parents, the international adoption agency that placed the child with the Tennessee mother, has now taken legal action against the woman to recover child support. Specifically, they are arguing that the woman did not terminate her parental rights when she returned the child to Russia.

Although Russia has since lifted its ban and other countries continue to consider U.S. adoptions, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the process has gotten any easier for families who are considering adopting a child from a foreign country.

The two biggest challenges that adoptive families will continue to face are time and financial burdens. In many cases, international adoptions can take anywhere from one to one and a half years to complete.

According to reports, one family was able to expedite the international adoption process when they adopted their daughter from China earlier this year. Although the average adoption waiting period in China is 6 to 7 years, this family was able to complete the process within 14 months because their daughter was born with a heart defect.

Fortunately, the family has reported that the young girl is currently in good health and that her heart defect may be able to be cured with a minor surgery, or possibly, none at all.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child custody, visitation, grandparents’ rights or adoption rights, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Tennessean, “Adoptions more difficult after TN woman sent boy back to Russia” Nov. 12, 2011