How long does it take to adopt a child from another country?

The timeframe to adopt a child – from application to placement – usually ranges from 12-36 months, depending on the country you adopt from.  In some countries, the major part of the wait will be before the child is identified. In others, it will be after. We can tell you what waits have been in the past, and sometimes that is predictive of what they will be in the future.

Are there income requirements for adopting parents?

Income requirements vary by country, as both the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and overseas governments set different income guidelines for international adoption. Currently, CIS requires adoptive families to have an earned income equal to 125% of the poverty guidelines. Poverty guidelines vary per state, and per family size, ranging from $18,387 to $47,037 according to 2011 figures. HATW evaluates each family individually to determine their financial stability.

Does HATW offer financial assistance?

HATW has the Toby Jacobowitz Memorial Fund for families in our programs. You can apply for a long-term, no-interest loan for up to $5000.  Also check our Helpful Links page for other funding sources.

Can HATW work with families that do not live in Michigan

Absolutely. It is highly likely we cooperate with an agency in your state. Contact us for information about an agency in your area who will do your home study and post adoption work. We contract with various agencies who are familiar with our programs.

What if I already have a completed home study? Can you work with me?

That depends. Please contact us to review your home study and home study agency to determine if any updates to the home study will be needed. It is also important to know that HATW must have a signed agreement with the home study agency.

What if I move during the process?

Contact us immediately when you decide to move. Where you are in your process will determine what you will need to do to meet state, USCIS and overseas requirements.

I’m not sure what country I want to adopt from?

Not a problem. Many do not know which country will be best for them. HATW international staff will talk with you about the type of child you are interested in, the specific dynamics of your family, and help you narrow down the country choices. It is important to remember you should adopt from a country that you can become (or are) passionate about as you will be the connection between the country’s culture and your child.

What happens if we reject an international referral? Do we have to start all over again?

No. We want you to be excited about the child you’re adopting. We will support you in evaluating a fit to your family as well as communicating to the country should you decide to request another referral.

Can same gender couples adopt internationally?

Not usually. We know of no countries active in international adoption that will knowingly place a child with a same-gender couple. Same gender couples will be required to adopt as single parents when they purse an international adoption if this is an accurate portrayal of their family. We DO, however, encourage you to consider adopting through our domestic adoption programs.

Can I adopt an infant?

Generally children will be young toddler age and older. Remember the process can take awhile so even if you are referred a nine month old the child will be older when you bring him/her home. Contact HATW to discuss the availability of infants.

What kind of information will we get about our child?

HATW tries to provide prospective parents with as much information as possible about the child they may adopt. The amount of information available will vary widely depending upon the country and the particular situation. After a child is referred, we will help you understand the information provided and put you in touch with professionals who may be able to assist you.

If there is an extended period of time between referral of a child and the time the family travels, the agency will get updated information on the child which may include medical reports and pictures.

Will I/we need to travel to pick up our child?

Most countries require this and we always recommend it. Traveling gives the parents a unique opportunity to see their child's environment and to begin to develop an appreciation for their child's heritage and culture. Few families who adopt internationally are world travelers. This is simply the beginning of the stretching that people do when they become parents. Moreover, the story of the trip to bring the child home has endless fascination for children.

In all of our programs there is good support and guidance for the trip. Beginning with travel arrangements and continuing during your stay. The length of the stay in the country varies depending upon their legal procedure. 

Can we state a preference for a boy or a girl?

In most countries, parents may state a gender preference. Please keep in mind, however, that any parameters you place on the type of child you wish to parent will likely result in a longer wait for a referral.

Can single people adopt?

Yes, although there are some limitations and/or additional requirements for single parents depending on the country. If you are single, we recommend that you do extensive research on what countries still allow single parent adoptions and what the extra requirements might be before you process with a home study process. Contact us if you have questions.

What is a dossier?

The dossier is the collection of documents that we send to the legal decision-making body in the child's country of origin. It describes the person or couple that would like to adopt and demonstrates that they are capable of being adequate parents and have met the requirements of that country sufficiently. The dossier requirements vary by country and are determined by the country.

Where can I get good medical advice about an international adoption?

HATW will provide you with a list of resources for medical advice and assistance once you receive a referral. There are several medical clinics that specialize in internationally adopted children.  We prefer that all adopting families have the child’s documents reviewed prior to accepting the referral.


Copyright Hands Across the Water Ann Arbor, MI. 2013
Joomla! site design by Twolipps Graphics and Web Design