International Adoption

International or intercountry adoption is the adoption of a child from another country. Many countries worldwide have international adoption programs for children who cannot be adopted in their country of origin. This pathfinder is designed to be a starting point for people interested in international adoption and an aid in finding print and electronic resources about this subject and/or related issues.

General Online Resources

Intercountry Adoption Resources

Provides information on all aspects of international adoption and is maintained by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Adopting.com – Internet Adoption Resources
Adopting.org has a section on the many different aspects of international adoption and is maintained by adoption professionals and volunteers.

Karen’s Adoption links
One of the most comprehensive online adoption resources. The information includes links to international adoption listservs, country information, orphanage addresses, employee benefits, financing adoption, and much more. Karen’s web page also has many links to Russian and Eastern European adoption resources.

My Adoption Links


The author of this site keeps track of just about every yahoo group and webpage that pertains to international adoption and provides a variety of information and adoption links, including many country specific links.

Associations and Organizations

The Joint Council on International Children’s Services from North America (JCICS)
This is the largest affiliation of licensed, nonprofit international adoption agencies, parent groups, advocacy organizations, and individuals who have an interest in intercountry adoption. Their website offers a large collection of links related to all aspects of adoption including international adoption.

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Committed to improving the quality of information about adoption. It maintains a searchable database of 1,000+ adoption research abstracts, federal adoption legislation updates, materials from the Adoption &Prenatal Substance Exposure conference, bulletin boards and surveys on all aspects of adoption, including international adoption.

Association for Research in International Adoption (A.R.I.A.)
“The ARIA website is a central location that seeks to disseminate the findings of research to the international adoption community. The site also contains links for adoptive parents to learn more about the issues that may impact internationally adopted children.”

International Concerns for Children, Inc.


A non-profit organization researching international adoption. ARCTT is a member of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and networks with highly respected and well established adoption agencies throughout the US. They also provide information on The Report on Intercountry Adoption which is an extensive compilation of information regarding International Adoption programs and licensed agencies in all 50 states.

Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform
An organization dedicated to supporting the rights of adoptive parents and children. “PEAR is a grassroots group of adoptive and prospective adoptive parents who have come together to discuss the lack of a unified, respected voice for adoptive families.”

Adoption Agency Registries

Inter-country adoption registry (ICAR)
Provides information on agencies, facilitators, legal considerations, forms, personal experiences, and country-specific medical information.

Agency Registry
EEAC has created a community that shares in the ideals of creating and growing families through international adoption and brings together individuals and professionals who are looking for the shared experience of an online support group

Adoption Agency Ratings
This site provides anonymous reviews on a variety of adoption agencies and adoption attorneys from adoptive and birth families.

Legal Aspects of International Adoption

The U.S. State Department
“The Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues plays an active role in the intercountry adoption process.” Its functions include responding to inquiries about the process, country specific information and working with U. S. Embassies on diplomatic efforts with host governments about adoption laws and procedures.

The Hague Convention


The Hague Convention focuses on the protection of children and cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption. It is sponsored by The Joint Council for International Children’s Services (JCICS), which “is one of the oldest and largest membership associations of licensed non-profits international adoptions agencies, child advocacy groups, parent support groups and medical clinics.”

Financial Issues Associated With Adoption

Adoption Subsidy guide
Created by the North American Council on Adoptive Children, this guide attempts to educate parents and professionals on Title IV-E Adoption Assistance in the United States. The site also provides profiles on each of the state subsidy programs.

State Adoption Subsidy Profiles
Allows “retrieval of the specific eligibility, benefit, funding, and other characteristics of your state’s adoption subsidy program. You can also review a chart that compares the major aspects of states’ adoption assistance programs.”

A Checklist on Title IV-E Adoption Assistance and State Adoption Subsidies for Adoptive Parents
Provides general information and orientation, application information, financial support and adoption related services, state funded monthly payment and service subsidies, and information after the final decree of adoption.

A Child Waits Foundation
“A financial resource for those seeking international adoption loans. Provides low interest loans for families who have exhausted other financial options and could not proceed with their adoption without our help.”

Gift of Adoption Fund
“The Gift of Adoption Fund inspires adoptions by giving grants that put adoption in reach: in reach for the 140 million children worldwide in need of families, for qualified parents yearning to adopt, and for those of us who want to do something concrete to move a child from a dire situation into a life of hope and promise.”

National Adoption Foundation
“Using private funds and a partnership with the corporate community, The Foundation offers aid to families for expenses associated with the adoption and raising of children. Loan programs and other services are open for any expense an adoptive family may have before, during or after their adoption is finalized.”

Medical Issues

Adoption from Russia
This site provides information about Russian medical terminology, and links to other Russian adoption resources.

Resources for Special Needs Children
Includes a variety of information including support for children with special needs, online support groups, and information and links on adoption professionals.

Introduction to Adopting and Parenting Children with Special Needs
This site helps to identify countries that work best for your family. It also talks about things to consider when adopting internationally, such as: age, gender, race and medical needs. There is also a section on minimum standards, as defined by the U.S. Government.>

Tufts Medical Center
“The International Adoption Clinic conducts research examining outcomes for internationally adopted children throughout all stages. The clinic strives to heal, to comfort, to teach, to learn, and to seek the knowledge to promote health and prevent disease.”

Pediatricians Who Specialize in International Adoption

International Adoption Medical Center
Physicians who speak Russian review the medical records of adoptive children.

Orphan Doctor
International Pediatric Health Services provides pre-adoption consultations, vaccines for parents, and follow-up career for children adopted from other countries.

International Adoption Clinic at the University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota has an international adoption clinic that offers a wide range of services including pre-adoption consultations.

The Center for Adoption Medicine
The Center, which is located at the University of Washington Pediatric Care Center, provides pre-adoption consultations, and the center’s web site contains articles on a variety of medical topics.

FAS Diagnostic and Prevention Network
Many adoptive parents want to screen children for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) before adopting them. The physicians at the center diagnose FAS.

Support Networks for Parents of Adoptive Children

Project Katherine


Non-profit organization that offers seminar and online training for parents of post-institutionalized children, including children adopted from orphanages.

Travel (Including Travel Insurance)

Includes a list of things to bring when traveling, including items and medications. Also includes topics including preparing to travel, expectations, travel destinations and travel stories.

Travel Protectors
Offers comprehensive travel insurance to protect against unforeseen medical emergencies, trip delay, and delayed, lost or stolen luggage or personal property.

The Adoption Situation In Countries Worldwide

Countries with International Adoption

International Adoption Information and Support by Country

JCICS International Adoption Updates (by country)

The US Department of State



Africa Adoption Blog
This blog offers information and opinions on adoption in Africa.



Families with Children from China
“This net resource is provided by Families with Children from China (FCC). FCC is a nondenominational organization of families who have adopted children from China. The purpose of this site is to consolidate the information that has been put together by the families of FCC, in order to make it easier for future parents to consider adopting from China.”

Philip Hayden Foundation
PHF is not an adoption agency, but they work with many adoption agencies to find homes for orphans. They have helped over 600 families adopt from China, and have had many children adopted into families in North America, Europe, New Zealand and China.



“ICHILD was founded in 1995, and is an internet-based, world-wide support group and source of information and resources for those interested in adoption from India and the Subcontinent.”


Adopting from Korea
Provides a prospective parents guide to Korean adoption including information on the Korean adoption program and finding the right adoption agency.

Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network
“KAAN is the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network. Adoptees, Adoptive Parents and Korean Americans are involved in this organization. KAAN’s mission is to support networking and build understanding among Adoptees, Adoptive Families, Koreans and Korean Americans.”


Families with Children from Vietnam
“Families with Children from Vietnam (FCV) is the national organization for adoption from Vietnam. Members provide family to family support to families who have adopted or are adopting from Vietnam.”

Vietnam’s children


“Provides information about adoption from Vietnam. This site will take some of the mystery out of the process and encourage more people to look at adoption, and particularly, adoption from Vietnam.”

Eastern Europe

Eastern European Adoption Coalition (EEADOPT)
Brings together individuals and professionals who are looking for the shared experience of an online support group. “EEAC has created a community of thousands of families who share in the ideals of creating and growing families through international adoption.”

Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption (FRUA)
“FRUA exists to support adoptive families who are considering adoption, in the process of adopting and those who have returned home with their precious children! FRUA is an organization that is for everyone; whether you are just beginning to travel the road to adoption or you’ve been a forever family for awhile.”

List of Accredited Russian Agencies
Provides a list of Adoption Agencies accredited with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

Latin America

Latin America Parents Association
“LAPA is a not-for-profit organization based in the state of New York. We are a volunteer association of adoptive parents committed to aiding people seeking to adopt children (as well as those who already have) by intensely researching new sources of adoption in Latin America, supplying materials to orphanages, and providing education and social activities.”

Online Magazines

The following magazines provide a wide range of information on adoption, resources for adoptive families, adoption stories and information on and about adoptees.

Adoptive Families

Rainbowkids Magazine

Roots and Wings


Adoption Today

Print Resources

Alperson, M. (1997). The International Adoption Handbook: How to Make an Overseas Adoption Work for You. New York: Henry Holt and Co.

Bascom, B. and McKelvey, C. (1997). The Complete Guide to Foreign Adoption: What to Expect and How to Prepare for Your New Child. New York: Pocket Books.

Conroy, M. (1998). International Adoption Sourcebook: What You Should Know About Agencies, Countries, Policies and More. Carol Publishing.

Davenport, D (2006). The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child. New York: Broadway Books.

Maclean, J. (2004). The Russian Adoption Handbook: How to Adopt from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. New York: Writer’s Club Press.

Uekert, B. (2007). 10 Steps to Successful International Adoption: A Guided Workbook for Prospective Parents. Virginia: Third Avenue Press.

Wirth, E. and Worden, J. (1993). How to Adopt a Child from another Country. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

You can find additional recommendations of books about international adoption at these pages:

Books on international adoption



Readers’ Guide to Adoption-related literature

Your local Public library may own many of the books and magazines on international adoption listed in these sources. The following Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers may be helpful in locating these and other books on international adoption:

LCSH: Adoption
LCSH: Adoption – Law and legislation
LCSH: Children, Adopted
LCSH: Intercountry adoption
LCSH: Intercountry adoption – Law and legislation
LCSH: Interracial adoption

DDC: 362.734 Adoption
DDC: 364.0178 Adoption – Law and legislation

This pathfinder was created by Brandy Bonnett for Dr. Eileen Abels Info 780 Course at Drexel University, Spring, 2008.