Holt International

International Adoption process

These are the new faces of international adoption.

Across the globe and agency-wide, the profiles of children needing homes – and coming home to families – has changed. The children most requested by adoptive families – healthy infant girls – are finding families more frequently in their birth countries. Finally, children with special needs, older children and boys are first in line for international adoption!

This changing need in adoption reflects broader changes in many of the countries where Holt works. Economies are growing, giving more birth families the resources to care for their children. Domestic adoption is becoming more socially accepted, enabling more children to find adoptive families in their birth countries. At Holt, we see this as a reason to celebrate!

What does all this mean? It means lots of smiles on the faces of children who now have families.

News coverage of these changes is not always so positive. And some of the changes also pose new challenges. As you read about new developments within the adoption process around the world, or the growing number of special needs adoptions, you may likely wonder:

What will the process look like for me?

What country should I choose?

And could I handle a "special needs" adoption?

These are perfectly reasonable questions. We're here to help answer them. At every step of the process, we'll help guide you through every important decision and help you prepare for what to expect.

The cost for adoption and the length of time it takes to complete the process varies depending on which country you choose. But the following is a typical process for international adoption:
(click on a point for more info)

1. Choose A Placing Agency: Not all agencies are equal.  Not all approaches are the same. 
2. Choose a Country Program: Aim to have at least one program in mind when you apply to Holt. 
3. Apply: Complete Holt’s application online or return a printed application by mail.
4. Homestudy: During this 2-4 month process, you will explore issues related to being an adoptive family, in-depth, with your social worker. 
5. Prepare the Dossier: “Dossier” is a formal term for a collection of documents prepared in a specific way. 
6. Apply for USCIS Approval: You must obtain permission from the U.S. government to bring a child into the United States from another country as an immediate member of your family.
7. Wait and Prepare: The waiting time for a referral varies by country.
8. Your Child Referral: A full-disclosure agency, Holt strives to deliver accurate and thorough information about your child. 
9. Meeting your child: Once legal steps are complete, Holt will help coordinate arrangements to meet your child.
10. Post Placement: Upon your return home, your social worker will visit your family.
11. Finalize or Re-finalize your Child’s Adoption: Several months after your child is home, Holt will issue consent for you to finalize your child’s adoption in the United States. 
12. Stay Involved with Holt: Adoption is a lifelong journey.

Whether you choose to adopt from China or Ethiopia, India or South Korea – through Holt International or another agency – all children deserve a loving home. Our mission is to bring you together – via smooth and ethical adoption.  
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