International Adoption in Alaska
How to Complete Your Alaska Intercountry Adoption
You have a dream of becoming a parent. Parenthood is full of unique joys and responsibilities. It is challenging, but also rewarding. This is also true of the adoption process, which can be a wonderful way for you to fulfill your dream. As you’re considering adoption, you probably want to know about all of the different choices you can make, and this has led you to consider international adoption in Alaska.
International adoption in Alaska, also country intercountry adoption or foreign adoption, can be a great way to adopt. This process is unique from domestic infant adoption or foster care adoption, which are other options you can choose. The international adoption process in Alaska will have distinct advantages and disadvantages from other types of adoption, but it could be the best thing for your family.
This guide to intercountry adoption in Alaska will give you a better understanding of the process and help you decide if adopting internationally is the best option for your family.
How does the International Adoption Process in Alaska Work?
The international adoption process in Alaska can be long and complicated. This isn’t meant to scare you; rather, it is meant to prepare you. It’s important to be 100 percent committed at the beginning of the process, because international adoption in Alaska won’t be easy. Then again, most things worth doing rarely come easy.
Step 1: Choose a country to adopt from. This first step could be the most important part of the international adoption process in Alaska. When choosing country, take into consideration:
- The adoption requirements in each country will be different. Make sure you are eligible in the country first.
- The Hague Convention created a standard for international adoption that some countries adhere to while other countries do not. While there is some disagreement about the Hague Convention, it is recommended by the U.S. State Department to work with countries that meet the standards.
- Travel, legal and other adoption-related expenses will vary between countries. Try to get a good grasp of the cost of adoption from a particular country before choosing one for your international adoption in Alaska.
Step 2: Choose a professional to work with. As we said before, the international adoption process in Alaska will be long and complex. Working with a qualified international adoption agency in Alaska is vital to a successful adoption.
Step 3: Complete the international adoption home study and apply for adoption eligibility. International adoption in Alaska requires an adoption home study, just like any other adoption. You will work with your international adoption agency in Alaska to complete this, and then apply for adoption eligibility with the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS). The latter task is unique to international adoption.
Step 4: Wait to be placed with a child. In domestic infant adoptions, a prospective birth mother chooses your family. In international adoption in Alaska, your agency will place you directly with a child from their international adoption photolisting. Once a child has been referred to you, you will have a set period of time to respond and accept the adoption opportunity.
Step 5: Apply for the child’s eligibility and travel. You will need to apply for your child’s travel eligibility with the USCIS before traveling. This is separate from your personal application, and it is very important that you don’t delay this step. You will not be able to return to the U.S. until this eligibility has been granted, which is why it’s so important to take care of ASAP.
Step 6: Re-adoption. It may seem odd, but in most cases you will need to complete a re-adoption when you return home to the U.S. Even if you have already completed the legal adoption process on foreign soil, it still needs to be finalized in a U.S. court.
This is a general overview, but should serve as a good starting point to understand how your international adoption in Alaska will go.
International Adoptions Statistics
The trends in international adoption statistics over the last decade aren’t promising. Across the whole country, international adoption has decreased dramatically since its peak in 2004. At that peak, there were 22,991 foreign adoptions in one year. In 2017, there were only 4,714. This is a 76 percent drop in international adoptions.
As this trend has developed, the cost of adoption has been inversely related to the number of adoptions. According to a report in 2016, the average cost of international adoption had risen to $42,000. It has increased more in the years since.
There are great organizations working to reverse these trends and empower more families to adopt internationally. Even though international adoption has been declining, it could still be right for your family.
International Adoption Agencies in Alaska
If you do think international adoption in Alaska will be right for your family, you will need to find a qualified international adoption agency in Alaska to work with. Make sure to ask a lot of questions and research your available options. This is an important decision, and you don’t want to rush it.
Some Alaska international adoption agencies you could consider are:
Next Steps for Your Overseas Adoption in Alaska
You may have all the information you need to begin your international adoption in Alaska, or you may have more questions about how to adopt a child from another country. Reach out to a local international adoption agency for more information.
If you are considering private domestic infant adoption, you can always call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist about this process with our agency.
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