State-licensed organizations that concentrate solely or primarily on managing intercountry adoptions. Some international adoption agencies restrict all their efforts to one country, but many place children from several countries. As of this writing, children from the former Soviet Union and from China account for more than two-thirds of the placements by U.S. international adoption agencies; however, the international adoption scene is constantly changing and few people with experience in intercountry adoptions are willing to predict from which foreign orphanages most children will come to the United States, Canada and Western Europe in the future.
Some international adoption agencies are managed by experienced social workers or at least individuals who hire experienced social workers, while others are "tabletop" operations run by people with very little child welfare experience and a limited track record of placements.
Individuals thinking about adopting should find out, at the least, when the agency received its state license, how many children it has placed, and whether or not they or any of their staff have visited the country from where they receive the children they place. The agencies that are generally the riskiest to deal with for adoptive parents are those that only recently became licensed, those that have no or little experience in adoption other than adopting a child themselves (if that), and those that do not assess or directly supervise the assessment of the children placed from the other country.
Find more information on international adoption agencies
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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