International Adoption - Country Overviews and Agency Listings

Read up on basic facts on the most popular sending countries for adopted children in this overview of international adoption. Click the country names for more in-depth information and adoption agency listings.

International adoption overview: some of these school children came to America through international adoption

In fiscal year 2015, U.S. families adopted 5,648 children from other countries. It’s becoming less common to adopt a healthy infant internationally. In 2014, the last year for which data is available, 5 percent of children adopted by families in the U.S. were younger than one, and an additional 55 percent were between the ages of one and four. Children who need adoption are most often from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, or Latin America.

Typically, the waiting time (and sometimes the total costs) for international adoption are more predictable than for a domestic adoption. International adoptions are usually handled by private, nonprofit adoption agencies. Some agencies that handle domestic adoptions also work in international adoption, although there are many agencies that specialize only in intercountry adoption.

Bulgaria

  • Adoptions in 2015: 185
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 49%
  • Timeline: Unpredictable, several months-several years
  • Est. total cost: $20,000 to $30,000

China

  • Adoptions in 2015: 2,354
  • Children under 1 year old: 1%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 76%
  • Timeline: 5+ years for healthy children
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $36,000

Colombia

  • Adoptions in 2015: 153
  • Children under 1 year old: 10%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 26%
  • Timeline: Generally 18-30 months
  • Est. total cost: $12,000 to $30,000

Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Adoptions in 2015: 160*
  • Children under 1 year old: N/A
  • Children 1-4 years old: 78%
  • Timeline: 1 year, wait is indefinite for an exit permit
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $40,000

Ecuador

  • Adoptions in 2015: 6
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 50%
  • Timeline: Generally between nine and 16 months.
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $40,000

Ethiopia

  • Adoptions in 2015: 335
  • Children under 1 year old: 12%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 46%
  • Timeline: 24 months or longer
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $40,000

Ghana

  • Adoptions in 2015: 85
  • Children under 1 year old: 5%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 28%
  • Timeline: 12-18 months
  • Est. total cost: $18,000

Haiti

  • Adoptions in 2015: 143
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 46%
  • Children older than 5 years old: 54%
  • Timeline: 18-36 months
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $40,000

Honduras

  • Adoptions in 2015: 23
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 35%
  • Children older than 5 years old: 65%
  • Timeline: Currently 2 to 3 years, but timelines may vary due to the ongoing review by IHNFA.
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $40,000

Hong Kong

  • Adoptions in 2015: 19
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 58%
  • Children older than 5 years old: 42%
  • Timeline: Adoptions are generally completed in one to two years, but it can take longer if the adoptive parents have specific requests.
  • Est. total cost: $15,000 to $25,000

India

  • Adoptions in 2015: 138
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 70%
  • Timeline: 6 months-2 years
  • Est. total cost: $12,000 to $35,000

Kazakhstan

  • Adoptions in 2011 (most recent statistic available): 86
  • Children under 1 year old: 28%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 59%
  • Timeline: 6-9 months after submission of dossier
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $40,000

Latvia

  • Adoptions in 2015: 170
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 16%
  • Timeline: Generally 1-4 years
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $40,000

Lithuania

  • Adoptions in 2015: 11
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 9%
  • Timeline: Generally six months to two years
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $45,000

Mexico

  • Adoptions in 2015: 24
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 0%
  • Timeline: Generally six months or longer.
  • Est. total cost: $20,000 to $25,000

Morocco

  • Adoptions in 2015: 27
  • Children under 1 year old: 27%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 50%
  • Timeline: The process can range from three months to two years.
  • Est. total cost: Unknown

Nicaragua

  • Adoptions in 2015: 22
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 30%
  • Timeline: Two to three years is typical
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $35,000

Nigeria

  • Adoptions in 2015: 154
  • Children under 1 year old: 6%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 61%
  • Timeline: A few months to a year
  • Est. total cost: $500 for adoption fees

Panama

  • Adoptions in 2013 (most recent statistic available): 4
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 75%
  • Timeline: Usually one to two years.
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $40,000

Peru

  • Adoptions in 2015: 7
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 14%
  • Timeline: The process for adopting from Peru can range anywhere from several months to several years.
  • Est. total cost: $25,000 to $27,000

Philippines

  • Adoptions in 2015: 150
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 28%
  • Timeline: Generally 1-3 years
  • Est. total cost: $20,000 to $30,000

Poland

  • Adoptions in 2015: 60
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 35%
  • Timeline: 12-16 months
  • Est. total cost: $30,000-$35,000

Romania

  • Adoptions in 2015: 3
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 0%
  • Timeline: Because Romanian adoption programs are still considered pilot programs, timelines have not yet been established.
  • Est. total cost: $30,000-$35,000

Sierra Leone

  • Adoptions in 2015: 18
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 44%
  • Timeline: The process for adopting from Sierra Leone can take anywhere from six months to two years.
  • Est. total cost: Unknown

South Africa

  • Adoptions in 2015: 33
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 33%
  • Timeline: Parents will likely wait 18 months for a referral.
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $40,000

South Korea

  • Adoptions in 2015: 318
  • Children under 1 year old: 0%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 98%
  • Timeline: About 1 year for special needs children; 3-4 years for healthy children
  • Est. total cost: $30,000 to $50,000

Taiwan

  • Adoptions in 2015: 59
  • Children under 1 year old: 16%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 43%
  • Timeline: Generally 1-2 years, shorter for special needs children
  • Est. total cost: $23,000 to $30,000

Uganda

  • Adoptions in 2015: 202
  • Children under 1 year old: 5%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 51%
  • Timeline: 1-3 years
  • Est. total cost: $20,000 to $30,000

Ukraine

  • Adoptions in 2015: 303
  • Children under 1 year old: 3%
  • Children 1-4 years old: 21%
  • Timeline: Generally 3-12 months
  • Est. total cost: $10,000 to $40,000+

 

Adoption counts from U.S. Department of State. Children’s age numbers are based on data from 2014, the most recent year available.

* Although the Congolese courts continue to process adoption decrees, the Congolese government stopped issuing exit-permits for adopted children in September 2013. Therefore, this number does not reflect the number of Congolese children who have entered the United States.




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