master’s project, I plan to write a handbook for prospective adoptive
pursuing an international adoption. International adoptions have
risen in the 20th century with the decline in the number of healthy,
babies available for adoption in the United States. In the past
over 150,000 children have been adopted from foreign countries to
the United States.
The initial thought of pursuing an international adoption is often very
overwhelming for parents to think about. There is a lot of information
internet, but that too can be overwhelming and it is sometimes
determine if the information received is legitimate.
to the stresses of the international adoption process, parents are
prepared for the first few months after bringing home their new child.
especially true of parents who adopt a child from an orphanage.
spend considerable time in institutions prior to being adopted often
medical issues that need immediate attention upon entering the United States
malnourishment, lice, parasites, upper respiratory infections, etc.
Additionally, institutionalized children are at risk for cognitive,
emotional delays and attachment disorders.
International adoption is a major adjustment for the adopted
child, parents, and other siblings in the family. When my family was in
process of an international adoption, it would have been helpful for my
to have one place where they could turn to for information about pre-
post-adoption issues and lists of quality resources to further aid them
international adoption process.
My vision for this handbook is to be an all-inclusive tool
for adoptive parents to utilize throughout their international adoption
journey; something they can use to feel like they are in control and
overwhelmed with reading dozens of books and searching thousands of
find what they are looking for. I want parents to first turn to this
as a guide for what to expect from the time they begin thinking about
adoption. This handbook will be a straightforward, easy to read,
and interesting guide for adoptive parents.
Source of information
information I choose to include in my handbook will come from many
adoption books, reputable websites, academic journal articles, personal
experiences with international adoptions, and adoption magazines. At
the end of
my handbook, I am going to include a list of additional resources
magazines, websites, etc.) that adoptive parents can turn to for
information about specific questions they have.
This is an outline of what I want the handbook to include:
letter to prospective parents reading the handbook
PART ONE – “Before You Adopt”
Chapter 1 – How to get started with an international
What is a
research adoption agencies
consider when choosing a country
country requirements (parental age, # of children, length of marriage,
support groups in adoptive parent’s state
of other children in adoptive parent’s neighborhood
Chapter 2 – Financing an International Adoption
assistance available to families
Chapter 3 – Involving Siblings in the International Adoption
How to make
siblings not feel left out
siblings travel to pick up the child?
Chapter 4 – Travel tips
pack for your child
orphanage/foster family, interpreters, legal representatives, etc.
of taking photos of child with orphanage staff/foster family and photos
to buy souvenirs from country so child will have tangible items from
customs of country visiting (i.e. don’t take photos of children on the
PART TWO – “After Your Child Arrives Home”
Chapter 5 – Medical issues
children from institutions
Chapter 6 – Attachment and Adjustment Issues
facilitate secure attachments
your child adjust to a new language and culture
bonding between new siblings
Chapter 7 – Celebrating Your Child’s Heritage and Adoption
adoption support groups
you can do at your child’s school
Adoption Day in the United
Chapter 8 – Resources
grants available for families
Adoption Clinics at pediatric hospitals
post adoption evaluations
interventions after child is home
my project, I will contact several adoption agencies and adoptive
ask them to read my handbook and complete a questionnaire in order to
the usefulness of it. I hope that if the directors of the adoption
agencies I contact
like the handbook, they will want to permanently make it a resource
to all adoptive parents who work with their agency!
I have not yet developed the actual evaluation