Why do people from the US go to foreign countries to adopt children?

Define ‘special need’? Sometimes ‘special need’ is age or ethnicity.

Hey, knowing how to properly fix another ethnicity’s hair can be eSPECIALly difficult.

Why is it so expensive?

Why don’t you just read my thread about this? My wife and I adopted from Korea.

  1. We used to live in Asia and have a real heart for it.

  2. We love the Korean program for adoption.

Seriously, just read the thread about it.

Uh, no.

This had nothing to do with our decision.

My wife and I never did. Neither did a few of our friends.


I was defining it as
“severe mental health problems” (60%)
Mental retardation, cerebal palsy, or other physically-based developmental delay (20%)
Physical effects of poverty such as delayed growth and development, HIV infection, neurological disabilities, malnutrition, and asthma (30%)

Obviously there’s some overlap there. Since that’s 110% of children currently in foster care. But if half the kids have all the problems, then half the kids have HUGE problems. If only 70% of the kids have all the problems, then most of the kids have significant problems that would make any reasonable person hesitate.

Being older, the wrong ethnicity, etc, is an ADDITIONAL layer of difficulty, for an already extremely troubled population.

Kids without parents in foreign countries, have, I believe, the same or similar range of problems. But in Roumania, say, cold hard cash buys the prettiest, most normal-seeming one in the orphanage.

My stepsister adopted a Korean orphan many decades ago; despite that the child was about a year old (nobody was sure of age) she ended up with some bad habits like hoarding food and hiding it under her bed that took almost 10 years to fix.

Imagine how messed up someone could be after an extremely bad home/foster life for 5 years… hence the “Age” issue.

I don’t have hard data, but many of my friends in NJ adopted, and the results strongly support Hello Again’s data. It goes in waves - 30 years ago there were many Korean kids adopted, and for the most part they had no problems, except slight issues of grabiness from being hungry in the orphanage.

After that source was shut down, though, people adopted from Columbia and other South American countries. and one couple adopted a kid from the Rez who they were foster parents for. All of these parents were well educated, with good incomes and living in a town as close to the ideal as I know of, but the kids almost universally had mental health issues. (6 of 7.) Nonetheless, their lives were a lot better than if they had not been adopted, but it was sad to see the impact of such problems. One of problems was traced to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I’m not sure there was enough evidence for the rest.

My wife and I are in the “waiting-to-adopt” queue for a baby from China. The backstory is in this thread. If you count from our log-in date, we’ve been waiting for four and a half years. We’re about to have to renew our paperwork again; fortunately, it’s free this time, the last time cost close to $900.

Four and a half years. The process used to take a year, start to finish. The wait would have been intolerable but for the events detailed in that other thread. Like I said over there, we looked at domestic adoption and decided it wasn’t for us. For one thing, in a domestic adoption, “open” adoption is encouraged, meaning the child will know who his/her birth parents are and may still visit or have a relationship with them. We were assured that this is usually a good thing, that it helps kids get over any residual feelings of, “my REAL mom and dad would be awesome!” by letting them know the reality. Maybe, but we still didn’t want that kind of baggage. We also didn’t want to jump through all the hoops and come down to the wire, only to have Birth Momma decide to keep the kid. So, we decided on China, because their process was the fastest, smoothest, most established, and most reliable. Since then, it has slowed way, way down. We expect we’ll be traveling sometime next year to get Kiddo #2.

I’d still rather go with China, though. An associate of my wife’s through her former workplace went through the process of adopting from Russia (and you wanna talk about bribes being built into the process, they’re the kings). Twice, she actually flew to Russia to pick up her child. And both times, she was told, “Sorry, someone else adopted the kid before you.” I can’t even imagine going through that.

I don’t think your cite says this. According to the CDC, in 2002, 1.9% of pregnant women surveyed reported binge drinking, and the same applied to the proportion that drank alcohol “frequently.” Furthermore, 10.1% of pregnant women reported drinking any level of alcohol. HHS reports 4,021,726 live births in 2002. For your assertion to be correct, 402,172 babies exposed to alcohol would have to be put up for adoption just from alcohol exposure every year. Given that that would be about three times the 127,000 or so put up for adoption each year, I’d be extremely dubious.

I always thought the main problems was the “parents want infants and there’s a years-long waiting list” problem, caused in part by some problem that some people have with letting black babies be adopted by white parents. (Presumably, the older a child is, the less likely the parents will be able to “mold” the child, or the more likely the child won’t consider them as “his” (or “her,” as the case may be) parents.)

There’s nothing new about the long wait for infants; it was a plot point on an episode of L.A. Law about 20 years ago.

What I want to know is, is there a significant impact in terms of “gender imbalance” caused by what I assume is a greater influx of girls than boys from Asia? (I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true, and caused mainly by farming families trying to “get rid of” girls because of the “one child per family” policy and the fact that “sons make better farmhands.”)

My step-sister said once her Korean child got some mail from there claiming to be her parent(s?). She told her to be careful - a lot of this is a scam, Koreans who found out who was adopted and tried to milk the connection for money, US immigration sponsorship, whatever. I guess in these days of cheap DNA tests it’s a bit harder to pull off.

Canada, especially western Canada, went through an epsidode from about 1965to 1985 (when the supply of white babies was dwindling) where they would put out aboriginal (indian) children for adoption; often taken from nfit mothers and then the arrangement was made permanent so the child could be officially adopted. Some did not work too well - parents trying to find their long-lost children, at least one case where the native child murdered his mid-western USA parents, etc. Many came back to find their birth parents, sad reunion all around, etc.

I suppose that for many foreign countries, at first they are grateful for people who are willing to help; then the government begins to worry what their international image is if too many children are adopted out, while opportunists in the system begin to exploit the financial opportunities… Plus in many Asian cultures, “adopt an orphan” is code for “get free domestic servant” - which is why the right-thinking types in government want to put the brakes on adoptions too.

China has worked out most of those kinks; they require you to submit a homestudy by an accredited agency, you have to submit to criminal background checks and be fingerprinted by the FBI, and so forth. They really try to make sure you’re not a nut or exploiter before you adopt.

Another thing we thought was good about China was a result of the one-child policy. See, China doesn’t have Social Security; it’s just socially accepted that sons will live with their parents when they’re elderly and take care of them. Girls, by contrast, will live with the family of the man they marry. That means that, if Chinese people want to be cared for in their old age, they generally need to have a son. So, many of the orphans in orphanages were girls abandoned in places they’d be found quickly by ordinary families who wanted a son, rather than strung-out hookers leaving them in dumpsters or whatever. Good health, normal development, all that good stuff, just not male.

Of course, the flip side of that is the resulting gender imbalance, which the Chinese government finally noticed. Some years ago the statistic was that by 2020, there will be 40 million marriageable-age Chinese men with no female to pair up with. Realizing that that probably wouldn’t be the best thing, the government (I believe) slowed down foreign adoptions and began to encourage domestic adoption in an effort to keep more girls around.

It got kinda painful for a while, when the little Torqueling got old enough to start asking questions, because we’d told her about the adoption early on and have always been open with her about the whole thing. She’d ask, “When’s Baby Rachel coming? When can we go get her?” Once she even played like she was talking on her toy phone and said, “It’s Baby Rachel’s momma, she says we can come get her!” Breaks your heart. But now, I think it’ll be neat for her, because she’s old enough to go to China with us when we finally get matched.

(Side note: I recently saw an article, the Economist, I think - about marriage fraud being perpetrated on Chinese men. Women from Cambodia and Vietnam were coming to China after the guy pays a “finder’s fee” to someone in the other country; they marry the desperate Chinese guy, and then disappearing a few months later with whatever more money they can take. So… it’s starting already as the first big imbalance hits marriage age)

They were in orphanages back then? My two kids from Korea(we are having a 2nd one) never spent one day in an orphanage. They were in foster care they day they left the hospital.


Uh…nearly all adoptions from Korea are boys. I don’t have the percentages or anything, but we were told 85-90% male.

We got a girl, but it was an unusual occurrence. Our 2nd child will be male.

Welfare will not let you adopt because they will lose all the grant money they get and stuff in their pockets. As long as they can keep thousands of kids in foster homes thay can say we need more money and they get it and it goes right to the big bugs pockets. That is why people go to other countries to adopt.

Do you have any proof?

I think this used to be the case in western countries. For example, the idea that adopted child = domestic servant to use/abuse is seen in the novel Anne of Green Gables.

We’re not all Madonna, but my impression is that she went to an orphanage, like going to a dog breeder to pick out the best of the litter, flashed a checkbook, and the child was bought wrapped up with a ribbon.

Is that commensurate in any way with a line of adoption for the rest of mortals?