vInternational adoption can present emotional hurdles

Many people in Maryland who wish to adopt a child may look overseas in order to do it. International adoptions have proven very rewarding for many Maryland families. However, with those potential rewards comes a great deal of emotional and financial risk.

A Howard County adoption lawyer would probably know that one commonly known risk pertaining to international adoption that has been in the news lately is the possibility of a country abruptly changing its own adoption laws. Recently, for example, Russia banned United States citizens from adopting Russian children. Unfortunately, about 1,000 children were already in the midst of the adoption process when this ban went into effect. Some had even met and interacted with their prospective American parents. Their fate is currently in limbo.

Many parents who turned to international adoption recall the heartbreak and uncertainty that followed in the wake of Romania’s temporary and then eventually permanent ban on international adoptions. While many parents, some of whom had met their prospective adoptive children, managed to move on with their lives, others never overcame their sense of loss.

Even without having to worry about a foreign government’s move to ban international adoption, the legal difficulty of this process is that a couple trying to adopt overseas must deal with three sets of laws. First, the parents must comply with the foreign government’s rules. Second, the parents must follow the adoption laws in their own state. Finally, an adoption immigration lawyer may be needed in order for the child to have permission to return to the United States with the new parents.

A foreign adoption can be an expensive and time-consuming process, sometimes costing over $28,000 and taking well over two years to complete. However, with the right sort of guidance and help, prospective parents may still be able to pursue a wonderful new addition to their lives.


 Time, “Painful lessons from Romania’s decade-old adoption ban,” Meghan Collins Sullivan, March 15, 2013

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