All You Need To Know About Intercountry Adoptions

Adopting a child from overseas can be a challenging task. Below is a comprehensive guide on some considerations you should make when adopting from overseas. 

Work with a Family Lawyer

Hire a family lawyer who is familiar with overseas adoptions to handle the adoption process. Some of the lawyer's tasks will include: 

  • Evaluating your situation to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Providing consultation services to help you determine a suitable method of adoption.
  • Working with local and overseas officials to organise documentation—for instance, the child will require travel documents and a visa.
  • In exceptional circumstances, asking the family court to terminate the parental rights of birth parents, which can happen if the child was neglected or abused. 

If you opt to engage an adoption agency, they will handle the legal work on your behalf. 

Australian Guidelines

In Australia, people considering intercountry adoptions must meet guidelines set by the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation.The child's country of birth should have an intercountry adoption arrangement with Australia. Intercountry adoptions in Australia are handled by the state governments. Different states have varying regulations. For instance, in Queensland, pregnant women, couples with children below one year, and people with active surrogacy agreements cannot adopt from overseas. 

Waiting Time

Intercountry adoption is a complex process that may take months to complete. As such, you must be patient. You will have to lodge an application of interest with your state's adoption department. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will undergo an assessment to determine your ability to adopt. The assessment will evaluate your health, past criminal records and how you will raise the child. The assessor will also help you prepare for challenges associated with intercountry adoptions. For instance, if the child has special needs, how can you prepare your home to ensure he or she has a comfortable stay? The assesor will also educate you on how you can help the child adjust to Australian life. 

Eligibility Criteria

Most countries will check your ability to cater to the child's needs, such as education, food and clothing. Can the child comfortably fit in your family setting? Does the child has different religious and cultural beliefs from those of your family? The assessment agency will also examine if you are willing to allow the child to have continued contact with his or her biological parents. 

Overseas adoption can be lengthy and expensive. Therefore, it is best to seek the advice of your family lawyer before initiating the process. Contact a family law firm to learn more.