Ms. Conn, Instructor
English 093-07 M/W
15 April 2012
Foreign Adoption In the last three decades, U.S. citizens adopted more than 265,000 children from other countries (U.S. Department of State). Sure that we have all seen the infomercials on television asking one to donate or adopt less fortunate children in third world countries like Sudan, Somalia, China, and parts of Africa. Do we ever stop to think about the children in our own country that are also suffering? They may not be in such harsh conditions like those of other countries, but they are also in need of a safe, loving, stable, and nurturing family. Many couples are often overwhelmed by the cost when they begin looking into adoption. There are many factors that contribute to the fees of an adoption, including the cost of the necessary legal work, advertising fees, travel expenses, etc. After choosing a child the adopting parents must travel to the child’s homeland to meet the remaining family members and start the adoption process in order to obtain legal custody of the child in that country. When legal adoption has taken place the adopting parents must apply for a visa so that child can reside in the United States. The adoption fees for China tend to be $20,000 to $25,000 there is an $11,000 tax credit when the adoption is finalized (Holt International). When one adopts domestically the financial burden of traveling afar is taken away. One can stay state side and not worry about all the financial costs of international adoption. After the Child Citizen Act of 2000, international adoptions became easier. This act allowed foreign-born adopted children to become automatic American citizens when they enter the U.S,, eliminating the legal burden of naturalization(ATX Realtor). China is considered to have the strictest laws on who can adopt. Couples must be married for at least two years and there are no single parents, or homosexual adoptions allowed. Both adoptive parents must be between the ages of thirty and fifty. Most Chinese orphans are girls found after being abandoned by families who later had, or still want, a boy. In fact, ninety-five percent of children available for adoption are girls (Craft). Girls are not wanted because they cannot carry on the family name. One of the biggest draws to domestic adoption is the fact that newborn infants are available. In fact, the Adoption Network Law Center is part of about three hundred domestic newborn adoptions a year. That is three hundred newborns adopted from one company in a year.
With international adoption, due to the time it takes to complete paperwork and receive a “referral”, an adopting family will never receive a newborn infant. In Russia, the children available for adoption are relinquished, abandoned, or taken from a neglectful home (Miller 54). Ten to Fifteen percent of Russian orphans have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, while even more suffer low birth weight and retardation from smoking and drug use by the mother (Miller 55-56). The records the prospective parents’ families receive are usually only summaries of the child’s medical history. The…