The 6 Avenues of Adoption, Part 6: International Adoptions

Adoption, Blog

This is the conclusion of a 6 part series discussing avenues of adoption. In previous weeks we’ve covered Agency Adoptions, Adoption Consultants, Private Adoptions, Embryo Adoptions, and Foster Care Adoptions.

Are you curious about international adoptions?

Well then, you’re in the right place! We are wrapping up our six-part series on the six avenues of adoption with information on international adoptions.

International adoptions are when a family is adopting a child from another country. You will need to find a local agency who is licensed in your state and is Hague accredited and able to do an international home study. Once the local agency does your home study, you can work with an international agency of your choosing. This is important because each agency has different programs for different countries.

Generally, you’ll decide on a country and then look for an agency that has an adoption program for that country. Sometimes, families will start with an agency and then look at what countries they have available. Just know that you don’t have to have an agency licensed in your state to do an international adoption. You can work with an agency anywhere in the United States, as long as you have a licensed Hague accredited agency in your state to do the home study.


Most children available for international adoption will be between the ages of one and seventeen. You can also be specific on the gender and the race of the child that you’re wanting to adopt internationally. Typically, international adoptions are closed adoptions, as most of the children are abandoned or orphaned. Because of this, there aren’t typically any connections with the birth family. But that’s not to say that your adoption could not open up down the road when, for example, DNA testing is done. A lot of families are connecting internationally because they’re finding each other on DNA registries.


Generally, the marriage requirement will be determined by the country that you are adopting from. The minimum requirement can be anywhere from one year to five years. Most couples need to be at least 25 years of age when they are adopting internationally, however, each country has different age requirements.

Financial requirements will be based on your financial stability. This varies from country to country and is dependent on the agency and other factors, like if you’ve been divorced in the past. Medical history requirements also vary from country to country. Some countries have BMI (Body Mass Index) requirements, and some require you have not had cancer in the past. It will be important if you’ve had any kind of medical background that you check with the international agency and the country to make sure that you qualify.

As for criminal history, this usually depends on the international agency’s policies and the home city agency. If you’ve had any past criminal history, it’s important to be very honest with your placing agency and your home study agency – don’t try to hide it. It’s not invisible. Even if you’ve had a record expunged, it’s still visible to your adoption agency. Keep in mind you will also have to go through immigrations where you will be fingerprinted. They can see everything, so it’s important that you are very honest and upfront. You don’t want to waste any time or money on an agency for on an international adoption, so do your research before you start the process.

Travel is typically required for all international adoptions. Depending on the country, you may be required to stay for two to four weeks, or make multiple week-long trips.

What to expect

Something that’s important to know with international adoptions is that you will have to do Hague training. At minimum, it’s 10-12 hours of training that you’ll need to complete before you’re able to bring your child home. Some agencies may have additional requirements specific to your adoption process. Just know that education is really valued and important in international adoption.

The process typically takes about 12 to 24 months and costs between $25,000 and $50,000 based on the country.

If you have any other questions about international adoption, be sure to watch the full YouTube video.

This wraps up our series on the six avenues of adoption. For more information, visit our YouTube page to watch the rest of the series.

Steffany ave

Founder & Director

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Meet Steffany Aye, the heart behind Adoption & Beyond since its inception in 1998. Fueled by a deep passion for supporting both birth and adoptive parents, Steffany's journey as an adoptive parent has continued the foundation for this non-profit adoption agency.

Drawing from more than 25 years of dedicated experience, Steffany and her team are committed to crafting warm, thriving families through child-centered adoptions. Their inclusive services, free from any form of discrimination, reflect Steffany's unwavering dedication to the beautiful tapestry of adoption.

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