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How are domestic and international adoption different?

As a prospective parent looking to adopt in Georgia, the decisions you make now can last a lifetime. One of the most important involves how you want to adopt and from where. You can choose to adopt a child from the United States or an international location. There are children in need of loving homes everywhere, so one is not inherently better than the other. However, you may find that either domestic or international adoption works better for your family. 

According to the National Infertility Association, some prospective parents seek out international adoptions because of fears that a domestic birth mother will change her mind and demand the baby back in the future. These fears are almost always unfounded. Once a birth mother agrees to terminate her parental rights, she loses all legal claims to the baby. Furthermore, if the adoption is semi-open or closed, the birth mother does not have access to your address or other contact information. There are many excellent reasons to adopt internationally, but fear of the birth mother changing her mind is not one of them. 

International adoption can be more complicated because of the necessity of complying with the laws of the country from which you are adopting, as well as those within the United States. Furthermore, the political situation in another country may also prove to be a complicating factor as it can change without warning. 

Age and demographics can also be an important consideration as it relates to both you and the baby. Foreign countries sometimes impose limits, not on the age of the adoptive parent(s) but the age difference between the parent(s) and the adopted child. In other words, they will allow an older couple to adopt but restrict their choices to older children. The United States does not impose similar limits, although a birth mother may be less likely to choose you if you appear older or less active, regardless of your actual age.

Furthermore, if adopting a newborn is important to you, domestic adoption is the only option available to you. Other countries do not allow foreign parents to adopt newborns. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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