Anyone who has thought seriously about adoption has a multitude of questions.

Q. Should I look at children in the U.S. or internationally?

A. This is a very personal question. Some couples don’t like the thought of traveling to other countries or the uncertainty of other governments. Others may not feel comfortable with not getting to meet the child early in the process. Others may feel that there is less chance of a birth parent changing their mind in going abroad. Each person needs to look at all options and make their decision based on what works best for their family.

Q. What is the cost of adopting from another country?

A. All costs vary quite a bit depending on the country. For every adoption there are fees for a home study (around $2,000.00), program fees (these vary greatly depending on country), orphanage and inter country fees for civil proceedings and travel expenses. The range for fees can be anywhere from $13,000 to $25,000. Not all of these fees need to be paid at once and many families are able to secure grants or loans to help cover the costs.

Q. How long does the adoption process take?

A. Depending on the country and child, the process can take as little as 10 months for a child with special needs,or more than 3 years for countries who only process a few adoptions every month.

Q. What does special needs mean?

A. A child with special needs can refer to a child over the age of 2 or 3, a sibling group, or a child with a medical need. Medical concerns can be something easily treatable here in the U.S. or might be something challenging such as a child who is deaf or has a heart condition.

Q. How do I find an adoption agency?

A. You can start with an internet search for accredited adoption agencies and narrow your search based on your location and which country you want to adopt from. The department of state maintains a website with a list of agencies which work internationally at adoption.state.gov. You can also look for agencies licensed in the U.S. at  childwelfare.gov.

Q. Is there an age limit for those wanting to adopt?

A. There are many countries that allow older couples to adopt, especially if they are willing to adopt an older child.