international adoption

There are two primary types of adoptions: international adoptions and domestic adoptions. For prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a child, they must decide whether an international adoption or domestic adoption is the right choice for them. In order to help make a better informed decision, the following will define both types of adoption as well as provide pros and cons associated with each.

What is an international adoption?

An international adoption is when the individuals choose to adopt a child who lives outside of their country. An international adoption is essentially a private legal matter between a private individual (or couple) who wishes to adopt, and a foreign court, which operates under that country’s laws and regulations. U.S. authorities cannot intervene on behalf of prospective parents with the courts in the country where the adoption takes place.

What is a domestic adoption?

Domestic adoptions involve adopting a child from within the same country where the adoptive parents live.

Pros and cons of international adoptions


  • greater availability of adoptive children
  • wider variety of nationalities and ethnic groups
  • ability to adopt a child as soon as the paperwork is completed


  • cost
  • incomplete background of the adoptive child and their birth parents
  • possible delays when dealing with foreign countries and relative agencies

Pros and cons of domestic adoptions


  • being better able to adopt a newborn
  • not having to deal with foreign agencies which may cause delay
  • not having to travel around the world to adopt a child


  • less availability with regard to adoptive children in certain areas
  • strict procedural requirements.

Deciding between international and domestic adoptions

The best way to make a decision when choosing domestic or international adoption is to look at your needs and desires with regard to adopting a child. If the adoptive parents wish to adopt a newborn and do not have a great deal of money to spend, then perhaps domestic adoption is best suited for them. On the other hand, the adoptive parents want to adopt a child of a different ethnicity and doesn’t mind adopting an older child, then international adoption might a better choice.