International Adoption FAQ’s

I live in Michigan and wish to adopt a child from another country; what is the process?

International adoption is a complicated endeavor involving the laws of the adoptee’s country, as well as federal and state laws in this country. In Michigan, licensed private child-placing agencies handle international adoptions. There are a few licensed adoption agencies in Michigan that only complete the family assessment (home study) and provide supervision on behalf of out-of-state organizations, which handle the actual adoptive placement. Because requirements for adoptive families vary considerably, depending on the nation involved, a family needs to consult with an experienced adoption agency that specializes in international adoptions. The adoptive placement of a child from a foreign country is also subject to the approval of Michigan’s Interstate Compact Administrator located within the Department of Human Services. The provisions of the compact ensure that all applicable laws and policies are followed for an international adoption.

What requirements do the parents have to meet?

For international adoption, all prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age. At least one parent must be a U.S. citizen. Each adopting person must complete the U.S. Government I-600 or I-800 form, must have a Home Study, and receive FBI and state child abuse clearances.  Other than these two requirements, each country decides other eligibility criteria, such as marital status, age, income, etc.

What issues should the adopting family take into consideration when adopting a child internationally?

Critical issues involve your ability and willingness to travel and stay overseas, if you are willing to accept a child who is not a newborn or an infant, and can you accept the ambiguities involved in intercountry delays and last minute changes found in many international adoptions.

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