Recent legislation in the following countries has changed the way that adoptions to the United States are handled.
In most countries not listed here, foreign adoptions are proceeding normally.
Adoptions from Cambodia to the United States are suspended and will likely continue to be prohibited until Cambodia passes new legislation that will ensure that the children placed for international adoption are truly orphans.
China has recently sped up the assignment of children. Babies are usually referred within 5 to 8 months after paperwork is submitted, and parents travel to pick up their baby within 1 to 2 months. The available children, usually baby girls, are between 8 months and 2 years old when they arrive home.
Adoptions from Guatemala to the U.S. are running smoothly, and the baby girls and boys are usually between 6 months and 2 years when they arrive home. The waiting time is currently less than 9 months from the time paperwork is submitted until the baby comes home.
The Romanian legislature passed final legislation prohibiting international adoption. Unfortunately, they have not addressed the plight of the many Romanian orphans living in institutions.
Russian adoptions are topsy-turvy right now. Russia requires adoption agencies placing Russian children to be accredited. Accreditations for most U.S. agencies have expired and the reaccredidation process has moved slowly. Adoptions are still taking place but at a much slower pace. Also, a new Russian law requires that children be available for adoption within Russia for a longer period before they can be placed for adoption abroad. The practical effect is that few children younger than 8 months will be available for adoption.
International adoptions from Vietnam to the U.S. are currently suspended while an official agreement between the two countries is negotiated. The U.S. State Department hopes to finalize the agreement this year, which would be particularly fitting since 2005 is the 30th anniversary of Operation Babylift, the program that airlifted over 3,000 babies and children out of Vietnam during the last days before the fall of South Vietnam to be adopted by families throughout the world.
This article was originally published in the Winter 2006 issue of Conceive Magazine.
Related Topics: Adoption