More and more parents are looking to overseas adoptions to complete their families. Adopting a child from another country comes with its own special requirements, so it is important to familiarize yourself with adoption law not just domestically, but also in the country from where you wish to adopt. A Salt Lake City adoption attorney is an invaluable resource in helping you understand the international adoption process.
Income and Age Parameters
Nearly all countries that allow U.S. parents to adopt have some sort of established guidelines when it comes to the income of the adoptive parents. Some may require that the family has a specific dollar amount of income for each family member along with a pre-determined amount of assets. It is generally required that parents can show that they can provide for the adopted child’s needs, including medical care, housing, soon, with their current income.
In general, most countries require that at least one parent be 25 years of age or older. In some instances, there is a cap on how old either parent can be, such as no older than 49 years of age at the time of adoption.
Some countries have rather unusual requirements for adoptive parents; in fact, some requirements may seem a little bit absurd to those of us living in the United States. For example, if you wish to adopt a child from South Korea, you must have a body mass index no greater than 35 and have no history of depression. China requires that if an adoptive parent has been divorced and remarried, they cannot adopt until five years following their second marriage. You must proclaim your faith in God to adopt a child from Indonesia, and in St. Lucia, you don’t have to be a resident, but you must own property in the island nation. Understanding these (sometimes odd) intricacies can help speed along what is sometimes a challenging process.
International Adoption Wait Times
Potential adoptive parents should keep in mind that adopting a child from another country can take a lengthy amount of time. While countries like the Ukraine and Congo may process an adoption from start to finish in a matter of six months or less, several years of wait time and traveling back and forth to the adoptive country may be par for the course when adopting from Bulgaria, Ethiopia or China (where international adoptions can take up to five years). It is also important to note that the immigration process for the child once the adoption is approved in the adoptive country can take anywhere from days to months to complete.
Finalizing an International Adoption
Keep in mind that once you have finalized the adoption of your child in another country, you still need to finalize the adoption in Utah if you are a Utah resident. Until you finalize the adoption in Utah, you cannot obtain a birth certificate for the child. To finalize the adoption stateside, you will need to complete a form called a Certified Foreign Report of Adoption, file an application for a birth certificate, pay the required fees, and show necessary identification.