We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an International Adoption?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An international adoption is a process by which a child who is a citizen of one country is adopted by a parent or parents who are citizens of another country. This process typically involves various laws and regulations regarding the adoption procedure for both the country of origin for the child and the country of origin of the parents. These restrictions can often include age limitations for the child as well as the adopting parents, considerations regarding any existing parents or guardians of the child, and the ability of the adopting parents to care for the child. An international adoption may also require that the adopting parents live in the country of origin of the child for a period of time during the adoption process.

Also called an intercountry adoption, an international adoption can involve a number of different countries, though it is common for American parents to consider children from countries as diverse as China, Sri Lanka, and Slovakia. The process of adoption is often facilitated by agencies in both countries and these agencies can assist adopting parents in understanding various regulations and restrictions that may exist for such adoptions. There are also typically laws in various countries that control who can legally adopt a child from that country through an international adoption.

In many countries, for example, there are age limitations for individuals interested in pursuing an international adoption of a child in that country. Some countries, like Ukraine, have no upper age limit on who can adopt from that country, while in Mexico and Greece the limit is 60 years of age. Children to be adopted through an international adoption may also have to be a certain age, such as less than 16 years of age. Korea sets limitations on the weight of an adopting parent, to ensure proper nutrition and health of a parent; in many countries, only married couples can adopt and a single person, male or female, cannot adopt a child.

An international adoption also typically requires that the child is legally valid for adoption. This means the child either must not have parents or legal guardians, or the parents or guardians of the child have freely signed a consent form for adoption. In some countries, the adopting parents must live in the country or have a residence in the country for a certain period of time prior to an adoption, or they must live in the country during the adoption process, which can take over a year to complete. An international adoption is often finalized within the country of origin of a child; when the parent returns to his or her country of origin with an adopted child, he or she is the legal guardian of that child.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.