An Overview of Holt's Adoption Programs

Explore the average length of the adoption process, fees and expenses, parent eligibility and the needs of children waiting for a family.

Countries Where We Work

Holt International has active adoption programs in eight countries. For help determining which country program is the best fit for your family, either call us, email us or request more information. Every child and family is different. We strive to unite every child with the family best equipped to meet their unique needs.

Why Choose Holt?

We pioneered international adoption 60 years ago and we remain the leaders today, uniting families with children who truly need them. We stand by adoptees and their families for their entire lives — providing world-class care to children waiting to come home, as well as resources, education tools and support to families and adult adoptees. You can rest assured that we are doing adoption the right way.


More than 85 percent of the children Holt serves live with their birth families, because the best way to prevent child abandonment, combat human trafficking and reduce the global number of orphans is to provide culturally sensitive tools and resources to help families grow strong and stay together.



We understand that no two children or families are alike. We strive to know your family, your hopes and your fears. We go above and beyond to provide education tools, resources, travel coordination, preparation and more. We want you to feel informed and prepared to adopt, every step of the way.



Our post-adoption services are second to none. From camps, family support groups, counseling, adoption-specific nutrition advice to birth family searches, citizenship questions and homeland tours, we stand by you for life — because we know that adoption doesn't end when you arrive home.



The following is a typical process for international adoption. At every step, we’ll help guide you through every decision and prepare you for what to expect.

  • Choose a placing agency. Not all agencies are equal and not all approaches are the same. Attend informational meetings, ask questions and speak to social workers. Network with adoptive families for diverse insight into the adoption process — as experienced by people who adopted through Holt and other agencies.

  • Talk to your agency about which country program may be best for your family. Each country sets its own eligibility guidelines, referral processes and legal requirements, affecting not just the time, travel and costs of adoption, but also who can adopt. The age, gender and needs of a child waiting for a family may be different from country to country.

  • Apply! Whether you apply on paper or online, this is the first step to begin your formal adoption journey. Once your application has been received, we give you access to our online parent handbook, which provides links to download relevant documents and paperwork, guides you through the process and provides ample information about your specific adoption program.

  • Bring on the paperwork! Complete your homestudy and begin your parent education courses. Prepare your dossier and send it for overseas approval. Begin formally and legally adding your child to your family, including clearing him or her for immigration to the United States.

  • Receive "the call" from Holt, letting you know that you've been matched with a child. Get to know him or her through photos, medical updates and more.

  • Meet your child! Once all the legal steps and immigration processes are complete, you will travel to finalize the adoption process and meet your son or daughter. Travel home to bond together as a family.

  • Your social worker will visit your home to complete your post-placement adoption requirements.

  • Stay involved with Holt. Adoption is a lifelong journey.